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									            South East Europe (SEE)
                  Programme Manual

       Draft Final Version 3.1, 20 March 2008

        History                             Contents
        Version 1.0, 25 September 2007      First proposal regarding Outline of the
                                            Contents, Project Selection Criteria, Common
                                            Indicator set, Model for Fact Sheets, discussed
                                            at the TF Ljubljana 3&4 October 2007

        Version 1.1, 15 October 2007        New section: “Strategic Projects”
                                            Modification Project      Selection    Criteria,
                                            Common Indicator set

        Version 2.0, 22 December 2007       After Task Force Bratislava 19&20 November
                                            2007: Revision Project Selection Criteria,
                                            Revision Strategic Projects and Revision
                                            Common Monitoring Indicators.
                                            New chapter: Presentation of Priority Axes and
                                            Areas of Intervention
                                            New chapter: General programme information

        Version 2.1, 01 February 2007       After Task Force Thessaloniki 17/01/08:
                                            Smaller   revisions, corrections   and
                                            amendments.
                                            No partner comments apart from Slovakia,
                                            mainly on the Chapters 1.1-1.7

        Draft Final Version 3.0, 5 March    After 1st Monitoring Committee
        2008                                Budapest 27&28/02/08: revisions,
                                            corrections and amendments
                                                    nd
        Draft Final Version 3.1, 20 March   After 2     WG of controllers Budapest
        2008                                17.03.2008:  revisions, corrections and
                                            amendments




European Territorial Co-operation 2007 – 2013
Programme Manual South East Europe




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                                                                     Programme Manual South East Europe




CONTENTS

Glossary                                                                                             3

1       Purpose, contents of the SEE Programme Manual                                                6
1.1     Purpose                                                                                      6
1.2     What does the SEE Programme Manual not cover?                                                6

2       General programme information                                                                8
2.1     Understanding the scope and purpose of transnational cooperation in South East
        Europe                                                                                       8
2.2     Programme‟s Priority Axes and Areas of Interventions                                         8
2.3     Role of the different management bodies of the programme                                     9
2.4     Contacts at programme level                                                                 11
2.5     Geographical eligibility of beneficiaries                                                   12
2.6     Financing instruments for MS, IPA-countries, ENPI-countries                                 12

3       Project generation and development                                                         15
3.1  Project generation                                                                             15
3.2  Partners and partnerships                                                                      15
   3.2.1 Eligibility of partners                                                                    15
   3.2.2 Compliance with the competition rules                                                      17
   3.2.3 Lead Partner principle                                                                     18
   3.2.4 Public procurement                                                                         18
   3.2.5 National co-funding                                                                        18
3.3 Eligibility of project activities                                                               19
3.4 Eligibility of expenditures                                                                     20
   3.4.1 General eligibility criteria                                                               20
   3.4.2 Eligibility in time                                                                        21
   3.4.3 Eligible area                                                                              21
   3.4.4 Ineligible expenditures                                                                    21
   3.4.5 Common costs                                                                               23
   3.4.6 Project revenues                                                                           23
   3.4.7 Eligibility of expenditures by budget line                                                 24
   3.4.8 Special eligibility rules                                                                  29
   3.4.9 EC Regulations relevant for the eligibility of expenditures                                32
   3.4.10 Decommitment Rule                                                                         33
3.5 Information and publicity requirements for projects                                             33

4       Development and application                                                                35
4.1     Project application: competitive and strategic calls                                        35
      4.1.1 Competitive calls                                                                       35

5       Assessment and selection                                                                   38
5.1     Selection procedures and selection criteria in general                                      38
5.2     Project selection criteria for competitive calls in detail                                  41
      5.2.1 1. Phase: Formal Check                                                                  41
      5.2.2 2. Phase: Eligibility Check                                                             42
      5.2.3 3. Phase: Quality Check                                                                 43




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Annex 1: Presentation of the Priority Axes and corresponding Areas
    of Intervention                                                                              45
Priority Axis 1: Facilitation of innovation and entrepreneurship                                  46
    AoI 1.1: Develop technology and innovation networks in specific fields                        46
    AoI 1.2: Develop the enabling environment for innovative entrepreneurship                     49
    AoI 1.3: Enhance the framework conditions and pave the way for innovation                     51
Priority Axis 2: Protection and improvement of the environment                                    54
    AoI 2.1: Improve integrated Water Management and Transnational Flood Risk
              Prevention                                                                          55
    AoI 2.2: Improve prevention of environmental risks                                            56
    AoI 2.3: Promote co-operation in management of natural assets and protected areas             58
    AoI 2.4: Promote energy and resource efficiency                                               60
Priority Axis 3: Improvement of the accessibility                                                 63
    AoI 3.1: Improve co-ordination in promoting, planning and operation for primary and
              secondary transportation networks                                                   63
    AoI 3.2: Develop strategies to tackle the “digital divide”                                    65
    AoI 3.3: Improve framework conditions for multi-modal platforms                               67
Priority Axis 4: Development of transnational synergies for sustainable growth areas              70
    AoI 4.1: Tackle crucial problems affecting metropolitan areas and regional systems of
              settlements                                                                         71
    AoI 4.2: Promote a balanced pattern of attractive and accessible growth areas                 73
    AoI 4.3: Promote the use of cultural values for development                                   76

Annex 2: Common indicator set for monitoring and evaluation                                      78

Annex 3: SEE Contact Points                                                                      79




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Glossary

Beneficiary (also Project Partner)

As indicated in art. 2 of the Reg. (EC) 1083/06, the beneficiary is an operator, body or firm, whether
public or private, responsible for initiating and/or implementing operations. In the context of aid
schemes under Article 87 of the Treaty, beneficiaries are public or private firms carrying out an
individual action and receiving public aid.

Candidate countries

This status currently applies to Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey.
Croatia and Turkey are two candidate countries with which accession negotiations have started.

Control system

A system for validation of ERDF expenditures at national level (it is the Member State responsibility
to set it up)

Controllers

Private or public bodies responsible for the ERDF control activities designated by the Member
States

De-commitment

In the SEE Transnational Programme, if the entire sum committed for the year N has not been paid
                                                  st
to the final beneficiaries and certified by the 31 December of the year N+3, the unspent funds are
deducted from the sums initially planned. This rule will be applied till 2010. From 2010 till 2013 the
rule N+2 will be applied. In order to keep programme financial performance on schedule,
decomittment can be applied to approved projects that do not respect spending timetable. Specific
information can be found in section 3.3.10.

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)

From 1 January 2007 onwards, as part of the reform of EC assistance instruments, the MEDA and
TACIS and various other programmes have been replaced by a single instrument – the ENPI. The
ENPI will provide grants for local development projects that target sustainable development and
approximate EU policies and standards in countries that are direct neighbours of the enlarged EU,
involving both EU Member States and partner countries. Eligible countries covered by the ENPI
that belong to the SEE Programme are Ukraine and Republic of Moldova.

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The ERDF is one of the two Structural Funds and it is intended to help to reduce imbalances
between regions of the Community. The Fund grants financial assistance for development projects
in the EU regions. In terms of financial resources, the ERDF is by far the largest of the EU‟s
Structural Funds.




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Instruments for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA)

IPA aims at providing targeted assistance to countries which are candidates and potential
candidates for membership to the EU. IPA supersedes the five previously existing pre-accession
instruments, Phare, ISPA, SAPARD, Turkey instrument, and CARDS , thus uniting under a single
legal basis all pre accession assistance. Eligible countries covered by the IPA that belong to the
SEE Transnational Programme are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Partners

All beneficiaries that commit themselves to implement an operation approved under the SEE
Transnational Programme. ERDF Partner: beneficiary defined above that receives ERDF co-
financing and comply with ERDF rules. IPA Partner: beneficiary defined above that receive IPA co-
financing and comply with IPA rules. ENPI Partner: beneficiary defined above that receive ENPI
co-financing and comply with ENPI rules.

Furthermore, partners can be clustered in relation to their role and responsibility within the project
partnership:

-       Lead Partner (LP or ERDF LP)

The Lead Partner has fully financial and administrative ERDF responsibility for the entire duration
of the project. The Lead Partner is chosen among the Project Partners. The Lead Partner is also
responsible for the proper reporting of progress in project implementation to the JTS as stipulated
in the subsidy contract.

-       Financial IPA Lead Partner

A project that has one or more partners from IPA countries should identify a partner per IPA
country participating in the operation, the financial IPA Lead Partner, that shall be responsible for
the part of the joint operation taking place on the candidate/potential candidate Country with IPA
funds. The IPA Lead Partner signs the IPA grant contract.

-       Financial ENPI Lead Partner

A project that has one or more partners from ENPI countries should identify a partner per ENPI
country participating in the operation, the financial ENPI Lead Partner, that will be responsible for
the part of the joint operation taking place on the neighbourhood Country with ENPI funds. The
ENPI Lead Partner signs the ENPI grant contract.

-       Functional Lead Partner

It is the partner defining project contents related tasks and duties within the partnership. Although
not compulsory, it is strongly recommended that the responsibilities of Functional Lead Partner and
ERDF LP are undertaken by the same beneficiary.

-       Project Partner (PP)

Other entities that, in addition to the EDRF LP, IPA LPs, ENPI LPs, functional Lead Partner (if any),
commit themselves to implement a project awarded by the SEE Monitoring Committee and sign a
Partnership Agreement.




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-         10% Project Partner

According to article 21 of Regulation (EC) No. 1080/2006, the ERDF partners can finance the
expenditures of an external partner up to 10% of the ERDF project‟s budget (see also 3.3.8).

Partnership Agreement

The Partnership Agreement is a legal document signed by all lead partners and project partners,
which contains a clear definition of responsibilities among the partners and a framework for efficient
project implementation and governance. The partnership agreement allows the functional Lead
Partner to extend the arrangements of the Subsidy Contract to the level of each partner.

Potential Candidate Countries

Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, including Kosovo under UNSCR 1244,
are potential candidate countries.

Project

The activity for which funding is being sought under a particular priority. Projects are referred also
as “operations”.

Subsidy Contract

Contract between the Managing Authority and the ERDF Lead Partner/ functional Lead Partner. It
determines the rights and responsibilities of the functional and/ or ERDF Lead Partner and the
Managing Authority, the scope of activities to be carried out, terms of ERDF funding, and the
requirements for ERDF reporting and financial control.

Verification

It is the process of ERDF control. Verifications to be carried out shall cover administrative, financial,
technical and physical aspects of operations as appropriate. Verification shall include the following
procedures: administrative verification in respect of each application for reimbursement by
beneficiaries and on-the-spot verification

Validation of expenditure

It is the result of verification.




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1 Purpose, contents of the SEE Programme Manual


1.1       Purpose
The major challenge in management and implementation of transnational co-operation
programmes is to achieve a common understanding among a large number of programme
partners. In order to reach a common understanding it is important to develop detailed guidelines
and clarifications on issues of the operational programme which are of interest to stakeholders and
potential project applicants. The SEE Transnational Programme 2007 – 2013 is characterised by
the integrated use of Structural Funds, the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance and the
European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument. Therefore, also implementation provisions
for the projects have been harmonised to the extent possible.

All information included in this manual are based on the ERDF Regulations and it refers to all
applicants. When different rules apply to IPA or ENPI applicants, this is clearly indicated.

The purpose of the SEE Programme Manual (SEE PM) is to provide stakeholders and potential
project applicants with adequate and high-quality information about the programme, the options
and conditions for the development of their project ideas to full-fledged project proposals and the
assessment and selection procedures for those proposals. The SEE PM does not replicate the
operational programme but adds depth and crispness to the latter contents.

Hence the SEE PM is one of the main programme documents and a major component of the
Application Pack.



1.2       What does the SEE Programme Manual not cover?

The SEE PM does not contain:

      -    the timeframe and other specific information on the call for proposals – these can be found
           in the call for proposals announcement;

      -    the template where to fill in the specifications of your project proposal in order to participate
           to a call and be selected for funding – these are the Expression of Interest (EoI) and
           Application Form (AF);

      -    the practical information on how to technically fill in the documents for the calls for
           proposals (EoI and AF) – this piece of information can be found in the Applicants’
           Manuals;

      -    information on obligations and duties of ERDF/ functional Lead Partners and MA
           throughout the implementation of the project – to be found in the draft subsidy contract;

      -    information on tasks and responsibilities of each single partner throughout the
           implementation of the project – to be found in the draft partnership agreement;

      -    any further relevant information at national level.




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  All the above mentioned information/documents are available in the Applicants‟ Pack for EoI and
  Applicants‟ pack for AF.




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2 General programme information


2.1       Understanding the scope and purpose of transnational cooperation in
          South East Europe
The global objective of the SEE Transnational Programme is the improvement of the territorial,
economic and social integration process and contribution to cohesion, stability and
competitiveness through the development of transnational partnerships and joint actions
on matters of strategic importance.

This global objective is supported by three specific objectives, which aim at:

      -    facilitating innovation, entrepreneurship, knowledge economy and information society by
           concrete cooperation action and visible results;

      -    improving the attractiveness of regions and cities taking into account sustainable
           development, physical knowledge accessibility and environmental quality by integrated
           approaches and concrete cooperation action and visible result;

      -    fostering integration by supporting balanced capacities for transnational territorial
           cooperation at all levels.

The global and specific objectives of the SEE Programme will be pursued through five priority axes
(Innovation, Environment, Accessibility, Sustainable Growth Areas and Technical Assistance),
which contribute differently to the specific programme objectives.

Therefore, the SEE Programme supports projects which have a clear transnational focus, high
quality partnerships, with useful, applicable and transferable outputs.

Applicants should be aware of the fact the evolution of the transnational cooperation from
Community Initiative (INTERREG) to main-stream objective calls for an increase of the
effectiveness of the operations that will be co-financed. Plain networking exercises or stand-alone
feasibility studies (i.e. without a clear link to the financial instrument that will put into reality the
subject of the study) will be not taken into consideration anymore.

Furthermore, projects shall feature a clear need for transnational support as the problem to be
tackled has necessarily a transnational impact, therefore operations supporting local, national or
cross-border actions only will be invited to apply for other instruments.



2.2       Programme’s Priority Axes and Areas of Interventions
Detailed descriptions of each priority axis and the areas of interventions, completed by a number of
practical project examples and indicative beneficiaries, are found in the SEE Operational
Programme and in the Annex 1 of this Programme Manual.

The priority axes should not be considered as “completely separated compartments”, they follow an
integrated approach and show many interfaces. In practice applications can tackle one area of
intervention only or can be relevant for more than one priority axes. In the latter case applicants




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have to consider which priority axis and area of intervention matches the projects focus at the best
and apply under that priority axis/area of intervention only.




2.3       Role of the different management bodies of the programme
In the Chapter 7 of the OP role of the transnational and national bodies responsible for the
management and implementation of the SEE Transnational Programme:

      -    Monitoring Committee (MC)

The overall tasks of the Monitoring Committee are to ensure the quality, effectiveness and
accountability of the programme operations, and to select projects for funding.

      -    Managing Authority (MA)

The Managing Authority bears the overall legal responsibility for the management and
implementation of the SEE OP.

      -    Certifying Authority (CA)

Main tasks of the Certifying Authority (CA) are to draw up and submit to the Commission certified
statements of expenditure and applications for payment and receive payments from the
Commission.

      -    Audit Authority (AA)

The Audit Authority is responsible for the tasks set out by art. 62 of the Regulation 1083/2006/EC.
The Audit Authority for the operational programme is assisted by a group of auditors comprising a
representative of each Member State participating in the operational programme.

The Audit Authority and the auditors appointed in the Transnational Group of Auditors shall be
independent of the management and control system of the programme.

      -    Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS) :

The Joint Technical Secretariat is an international staffed management unit which is in charge with
the day to day management of the program. It supports the Managing Authority, Monitoring
Committee and Audit Authority in programme coordination and implementation.

The Joint Technical secretariats tasks are set out in section 7.1.5 of the OP.

      -    SEE Contact Points (SCP)

SEE Contact Points are structured and organised in each partner state, in order to be able to
adequately represent the programme in the concerned country and to support the development of
potential transnational projects.

      -    National Coordination (NC)

Each partner state establishes a National Committee or corresponding national procedures in
accordance with its institutional structure in order to involve the regional and local authorities as




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well as the relevant sectoral authorities and institutions and non-governmental organisations and
any other socio-economic and institutional partner considered relevant by the concerned partner
state. They are not entitled to pre-select project applications, as project selection is reserved for the
Monitoring Committee.




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2.4         Contacts at programme level
In principle the JTS gives support to potential partners of the SEE Operational Programme in all
transnational issues including both application and implementation phases.

The JTS can be contacted at the following address:

SEE Joint Technical Secretariat

VÁTI Kht.

H-1016 Budapest, Hungary

Gellérthegy str. 30-32.

Contact persons name:

Email:   see.jts@southeast-europe.net

Phone: 0036 1 224 3158



Annex III contains a list of all national contact points for the SEE Programme.




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2.5     Geographical eligibility of beneficiaries




The SEE Operational Programme supports transnational cooperation activities between partners in

Figure 1 SEE eligible area

the SEE cooperation area as defined by the Commissions Decision of 31 October 2006/769/EC (see
Fig. 1).

Partners from IPA countries can participate in projects using IPA funding. They are not allowed to
receive ERDF co-financing (for special eligibility cases see also 3.3.8).

Italian and Ukrainian public authorities or bodies governed by public law which are competent in their
scope of action for certain parts of the eligible area but which are located outside of it (e.g., ministries).
are to all effects assimilated, both in terms of rights and of obligations, to partners located in the SEE
Programme area.



2.6       Financing instruments for MS, IPA-countries, ENPI-countries
The SEE Operational Programme uses three types of funds (European Regional Development Fund -
ERDF, Instrument for Pre-Accession - IPA, European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument -
ENPI) to achieve its objectives.




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Financing Instruments for MS

Lead and project partners from the Members States of the EU will be financed by the ERDF.
Therefore a subsidy contract will be concluded between the JTS (on behalf of the MA) and the ERDF
                                       1
Lead Partner/ functional Lead Partner on behalf of all the project partners. The ERDF Lead Partner
will be reimbursed, on the basis of a submission and approval of a regular progress report, for the
overall ERDF spent and validated within the progress report.

The LP will afterwards distribute the ERDF co-financing to the ERDF project partners according to
each budget, payment request and to the partnership agreement which is compulsory to be concluded
between the LP and Project Partners in line with Regulation 1080/2006/EC.

The LP will retain only the co-financing ERDF corresponding to its own validated expenditure.

Financing Instruments for Non MS

Sources for funding participation of non-Member State Project Partners may come from other EU
sources (e.g. IPA, ENPI) allocated at programme level. To ensure a properly working financial flow
close co-operation is necessary between relevant European Commission General Directorates and
relevant Contracting Authorities of the relevant funds, Programme management bodies (MA, JTS), the
Monitoring Committee and relevant national authorities. The IPA and ENPI contracts will be concluded
separately from the ERDF subsidy contract with the relevant Contracting Authorities.

IPA funds

IPA funds are provided for the participation of project partners from candidate and potential candidate
countries (e.g. Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia, Montenegro, and
Serbia including Kosovo)

The applications will not be submitted to the Contracting Authority in the IPA countries but to the SEE
JTS, by the project Lead Partner for the whole partnership.

The IPA contracts will be concluded with the relevant Contracting Authorities in the IPA countries.

PRAG (Practical Guide to contract procedures for EC external actions) rules will apply to IPA
contracts. By derogation, provisions of chapter 6.Grants, points 6.1.1., 6.1.2. , 6.2.1, 6.2.8, 6.3, 6.4,
6.6 will not apply entirely to the applications of the IPA partners. Detailed description of the
derogations will be available in the Guide for applicants of SEE programme.

No expenditure can be done before the financing contract is concluded (PRAG, Chapter 6, Point
6.2.5. – non retroactivity). The amounts requested are advanced to the project partners and not
reimbursed like in ERDF case.

If in one project there are more then one partners from the same IPA country, they will select an IPA
Lead Partner for that country who will conclude the contract with the Contracting Authority, on behalf
of all the partners in that country. The IPA Lead Partner will be advanced the IPA co-financing from
the Paying Authority in the respective country and afterwards distribute the IPA co-financing to the co-
national partners according to each budget, payment request and to the partnership agreement which
is compulsory to be concluded between the project partners in line with Regulation 1080/2006/EC.

1 1
      Although not compulsory, it is strongly recommended that the responsibilities of Functional Lead Partner and ERDF Lead
       Partner are undertaken by the same beneficiary.




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The co-financing rate for IPA contracts will be 85%.

ENPI funds

ENPI Funds are not available for the 1st call for proposals.




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3 Project generation and development


3.1       Project generation
The SEE Programme provides useful tools and resources to possible applicants for project
generation. The Programme website, www.southeast-europe.net hosts a section on project idea
collection, where all potential applicants might upload their project ideas in order to search for project
partners and for allowing coordination among similar project ideas.

Furthermore, transnational thematic workshops related to the Programme‟s priorities are organised, in
order to steer and inform potential applicants on specific programme‟s needs. On a national level, Info
Days and trainings are organised by the SCPs.

The aim of all the abovementioned tools is the generation of high quality projects.

Quality projects are generated and developed with the active contribution of partners and relevant
stakeholders, to prevent unilateral behaviour and to avoid operations planned and drafted by the Lead
Partner alone or someone external to the project altogether.

A bottom-up approach in project generation is therefore important, coupled with adequate support /
provision of quality information from higher levels (i.e. programme level structures).

Partners with previous experience in the subject matter of the project as well as previous cooperation
experience can add value to the development of a sound project.

A conceptually quality project should also contain sound financial planning that will carry the project
through to implementation. To this end, the financial capacity of partners is another key criterion for
successful project generation. In addition to what is mentioned above, programmes including new
Member States such as the South East Europe Programme, need to effectively manage the transition
from previous cooperation instruments to European Territorial Cooperation.

However, beside high quality projects, the SEE Programme strives for generating projects with a
higher/wider impact and stronger political commitment.



3.2       Partners and partnerships

3.2.1      Eligibility of partners

According to Article 2 of Regulation 1083/2006/EC, a wide range of actors such as public authorities,
public equivalent bodies and any legal body governed by public or private law can be beneficiaries of
ERDF, therefore being able to participate in the SEE Transnational Programme as partners and
receive direct financial support.

The OP (Chapter 5) mentions per each Area of Intervention an indicative list of potential beneficiaries.

According to the used terms of the OP (Chapter 7 section 7.2.3) the following type of partners are
eligible:

      -    Public bodies




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     -   Bodies governed by public law

     -   Bodies governed by private law

     -   Economic operators (undertakings)

All type of eligible partners can act as Lead Partner in a particular project. In order to avoid a situation
where state aid regulations have to be applied, the project should not include activities (or partners)
that have commercial or industrial character. In all cases the outcome and results of the projects have
to be made available for general public free of charge.

Public bodies

Public bodies are organizations which were founded and governed by public law. They main purpose
is to fulfil the needs of the public.

Bodies governed by public law

The definition of body governed by public law is the following according to Article 1 of Directive
2004/18/EC:

A "body governed by public law" means any body:

(a) established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having an
industrial or commercial character;

(b) having legal personality; and

(c) financed, for the most part, by the State, regional or local authorities, or other bodies governed by
public law; or subject to management supervision by those bodies; or having an administrative,
managerial or supervisory board, more than half of whose members are appointed by the State,
regional or local authorities, or by other bodies governed by public law.

Non-exhaustive lists of bodies and categories of bodies governed by public law are set out in Annex III
of the above mentioned Directive.

Bodies governed by private law

Bodies governed by private law, can be considered all the organizations which were funded by private
law such as chambers of commerce, trade unions or non-governmental organisations may receive
ERDF funding if they fulfil the following criteria:

     -   they are established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not
         having an industrial or commercial character;

     -   they have legal personality;

     -   they make available the results of the project to the general public;

     -   they apply the principles of public procurement.

Please note that it may vary from country to country whether a certain type of organisation falls under
public or private law.




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International organizations acting under international law cannot be eligible.

However, international organizations acting under the national law of any SEE Partner State can be
considered as eligible if they fulfill the criteria foreseen for the bodies governed by private law.

Only legal entities listed in the application form are eligible for funding and may report their costs. In
order to ensure the proper audit trail the MA has to know which organisations receive programme
funding and whether they are eligible according to the programme rules. Therefore, an “umbrella” type
of partnership structure, where one partner collects funding and represents other partners without
naming them is not possible.

Economic operators (undertakings)

Bodies with industrial and/or commercial character are not eligible for the first call.

IPA partners follow the above mentioned rules.




3.2.2   Compliance with the competition rules
Granted aids which are not in compliance with the competition rules (so-called state aid) are defined
by the article 87 of the treaty:

Article 87 of the EC Treaty

Save as otherwise provided in this Treaty, any aid granted by a Member State or through State
resources in any form whatsoever which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring
certain undertakings or the production of certain goods shall, insofar as it affects trade between
Member States, be incompatible with the common market.

It has to be determined whether a partner who has received an aid can be subject of the State aid
rules or not. For this question the answer is given by the definition in article 87 of the Treaty which is
talking about “undertakings”. According to the practice of the jurisdiction of the Court, in this aspect it
matters not the legal nature of the beneficiary of the aid. Within the domain of competition law, an
undertaking is identified as any entity which exercises an activity of an economic nature and which
offers goods and services in competition (actual or potential) with other operators active on the
market, carrying out activities of an economic nature, devoted to the production and marketing of
goods and services on the market.

Under the SEE Transnational Programme aid cannot be granted to beneficiaries having an industrial
or commercial character. This means undertakings within the domain of competition law are not
eligible partners and cannot participate in the programme. Therefore any aid granted under the SEE
OP cannot be ineligible aid from the view point of the competition law because these aid schemes
don‟t have any influence on the common market.




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3.2.3       Lead Partner principle
                                                                           2
An ERDF Lead Partner (LP) and a Functional Lead Partner should be nominated by the partners
among themselves. As already mentioned in chapter 2.6, the subsidy contract will be concluded
between the JTS on behalf of the MA and the ERDF Lead Partner that is formally the final beneficiary
of the ERDF funding and the only direct link between the project partnership and the Programme.

The LP (as lead applicant) is responsible for the submission of the joint application form and also
assumes the following responsibilities:

        -    it shall lay down the arrangements for its relations with the project partners participating in
             the project in a partnership agreement comprising, inter alia, provisions guaranteeing the
             sound financial management of the funds allocated to the operation, including the
             arrangements for recovering amounts unduly paid;

        -    it shall be responsible for ensuring the management and the implementation of the entire
             project;

        -    being a contact person for the Joint Technical Secretariat;

        -    it shall ensure that the expenditure presented by the project partners has been incurred for
             the purpose of implementing the operation and corresponds to the activities agreed between
             those project partners;

        -    it shall verify that the expenditure presented by the project partners participating in the
             project has been validated by the controllers;

        -    it shall be responsible for transferring the ERDF contribution to the project partners.



3.2.4       Public procurement

The ERDF partners according to article 1 of Regulation (EC) No. 1083/2006 during their procurements
related to the projects financed by the SEE have to respect the relevant community and national
public procurement rules.

The IPA partners should make their procurements on service, supply and work according to article
121 of Regulation (EC) No. 718/2007.



3.2.5       National co-funding

Under the SEE Transnational Programme, projects are co-funded by ERDF and IPA up to a maximum
rate of 85%.

The remaining budget has to be covered with national co-funding, brought in by each project
participant. As the programme follows the "public costs" principle only public funds can be co-funded.


2
    Although not compulsory, it is strongly recommended that the responsibilities of Functional Lead Partner and ERDF Lead
      Partner are undertaken by the same beneficiary.




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In case of ERDF private project participants join a partnership as project partners, they have to prove
that their national funding will be provided by public authorities and that it is therefore ensured that the
expenses co-funded by the ERDF are funded by public funds only.

Each partner state applies a different system to provide with national public co-funding. Some apply
an automatic procedure for granting the funds (i.e. Hungary, Italy, Romania) others do foresee specific
calls (i.e. Slovenia) therefore SCPs shall be contacted for clear information.



3.3       Eligibility of project activities
Activities and related expenditures are eligible according to the eligibility rules set out in operational
programme.

However, the SEE Transnational Programme 2007 – 2013, is fully integrated within the Objective 3 of
the Cohesion Policy, strongly concentrated on the achievement of the Lisbon and Gothenburg
objectives. Therefore projects should clearly consider the following aims:

      -    contribution to sustainable territorial development

      -    leverage effect on investment, development perspectives and policy development

      -    facilitation of innovation, entrepreneurship, knowledge economy and information society by
           concrete cooperation action and visible results (creation of new products, services,
           development of new markets, improvement of human resources based on the principles of
           sustainability)

      -    contribution to integration by supporting balanced capacities for transnational territorial
           cooperation at all levels (systems building and governance)

The orientation on research, technology and innovation encloses a significant entrepreneurial
development aspect. Hence pure academic research activities cannot be supported under this
programme.

Projects could include activities such as studies and operational plans, capacity building activities,
promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of investments proposed by
transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if appropriate and justifiable.
Additional activities could include networking and exchange of information, but not as stand alone, as
purely networking activities will NOT be supported.

It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to present an adequate activity
mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the proposed project objectives and
contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

The three dimensions of transferability and sustainability of the project‟s results are an essential
element of the SEE Programme and have to be foreseen at project level:

      -    Financial sustainability: securing own resources or other sources of revenue for covering
           future operating and maintenance costs after the completion of the project;

      -    Institutional sustainability: identification of structures that will take over the follow up of the
           action after the end of the project




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       -    Political sustainability: impact of the project on the political choices that will lead to improved
            legislation, codes of conduct, methods, etc.

The programme emphasises the importance of building upon past efforts and existing knowledge.
Therefore, relevant and up-to-date knowledge and tools and partnerships competent for the
development, implementation and dissemination of planned outputs and results are needed to build a
solid ground for innovation and to avoid duplication of efforts. Furthermore, this will allow addressing
efficiently existing disparities between regions and uneven development of regions in the cooperation
area. In this respect, the programme also invites partnerships to reach out to relevant stakeholders
and professionals in order to ensure effective networking beyond the partnerships.

In order to avoid a situation where state aid regulations have to be applied, the project should not
include activities that have commercial or industrial character.



3.4        Eligibility of expenditures

3.4.1       General eligibility criteria

ERDF costs are generally eligible for funding if:

       -    they have been actually incurred and paid by the lead partner or its partners, and they can be
            verified on the basis of original invoices or other accounting documents of equivalent nature;

       -    they are directly related to the project, necessary for the development, starting and/or
            implementation of the project, and they are planned in the approved project budget;

       -    they have been incurred and paid within the eligibility period of the project;

       -    they have been incurred in the eligible area of the SEE Programme (see also section 3.3.8);

       -    they are in compliance with the principles of efficiency, economy and expediency;

       -    they are in line with the relevant EC Regulations and National legislation3.

In all cases, if there is a national legislation regarding eligibility of expenditure, project partners and
lead partners have to follow the national legislation of their country as well. National legislation applies
also whenever stricter than the corresponding EU legislation, and vice versa. The project partners are
responsible to clarify which national legislation of their country they possibly will have to apply when
implementing the project.

For the eligibility of expenditures under IPA, applicants should refer to the General Conditions of
Contract of the PRAG.




3
    The relevant EC Regulations are listed in paragraph 3.3.9




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3.4.2   Eligibility in time

All expenditures are eligible for ERDF funding from the date of approval of the project by the
                         nd
Monitoring Committee - 2 step, in case of a 2 step procedure – to its closing date as defined in the
approved application form.

The eligibility period of the project means that for ERDF partners all expenditures shall be incurred
within this period.

All expenditures are eligible for IPA funding only after IPA contracts are concluded between the
partners and the relevant Contracting Authorities in the IPA Countries.

Since the programme must be finalised by the end of 2015, all activities within the projects must be
completed before the end of 2014.

Projects must clearly indicate their intended duration when applying for funding. The duration is
specified in each Call for Proposal.

When deciding the starting date of the operation, partners should take into account the timeframe for
the selection process and potential delays in the start-up phase, even if the Programme seeks for an
early start of operations soon after approval.



3.4.3   Eligible area

As a general rule, eligible costs shall be incurred in the programme area defined by the SEE
Operational Programme (see section 1.3).

Expenses incurred outside the EU and/ or programme area are considered eligible according to “10%
flexibility rule“ in very particular cases, as detailed in paragraph 3.3.8

An exception to the general rule is the case of those public authorities or bodies governed by public
law which are competent in their scope of action for certain parts of the eligible area but which are
located outside of it (e.g., ministries). Italian and Ukrainian institutions falling under this definition are
to all effects assimilated, both in terms of rights and of obligations, to partners located in the SEE
Programme area.

Travel and accommodation costs within the EU and the programme area have to be considered as
eligible..

IPA expenditure is only eligible if it is made within the programme area. As an exception travel and
accommodation costs are eligible if they occur outside the programme area but inside the European
Union.



3.4.4   Ineligible expenditures

The following expenditures are considered as ineligible for ERDF funding:

    -   interest on debt (Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006);




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     -   decommissioning of nuclear power stations (Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006);

     -   recoverable value added tax (Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006);

     -   expenditures on housing (Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006);

     -   fines, financial penalties and expenditure on legal disputes (Article 49 of Regulation (EC) No
         1828/2006);

     -   any forms of double financing of expenditures: expenditure which is already supported by a
         Community, or other international or national grant;

     -   unpaid partial amounts of invoices (e.g. discounts, rebates, etc.);

     -   subcontracting which adds to the cost of execution of the operation without adding
         proportionate value to it;

     -   subcontracts with intermediaries or consultants in which the payment is defined as a
         percentage of the total cost of the operation unless such payment is justified by the final
         beneficiary by reference to the actual value of the work or services provided;

     -   any expenditures invoiced further to third parties and not born by the LP or its partners;

     -   expenditures not directly associated with the Lead Partner or its partners;

     -   any costs incurred before or beyond the eligible period of the project (exclusive of the
         preparation costs);

     -   any costs of services, procurements or investments not directly related to the project and not
         approved in the application form;

     -   costs of settlement of interest payable, cost of credit overdrawing;

     -   currency exchange commissions and losses;

     -   commissions and dividends, profit payments;

     -   purchase of business shares;

     -   leasing;

     -   fringe benefits, rewards, redundancy payments;

     -   items for entertainment e.g. entrance fees, gifts, flowers, decoration materials, etc, if not
         necessary for the implementation of the project‟s activities.

For detailed lists of ineligibility for IPA Project Partners, please refer to General Condition of Contract
of the PRAG.




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3.4.5   Common costs

Costs referring to the project‟s activities normally related to the project‟s common management and
coordination and to common communication and dissemination activities can be shared among ERDF
project partners.

For each common activity, a responsible partner is to be selected. It would be in charge of the
implementation or the subcontracting of the activity, following the relevant National Public
Procurement Law on behalf of the whole partnership. Furthermore, partners can choose between two
ways of proceeding:

    a) Common costs are advanced, accounted and validated by the responsible partner. He/she will
       secondly ask the involved partners for reimbursement of their shares;

    b) Each involved partner will directly relate to the subcontractor for the payment of their shares
       within the common activity.

Common activities and related budget shall be previously defined in the approved Application Form;
partners involved in the common activity will indicate their shares on the specific related tables.
Partners should understand that the budget assigned to the common activities is not an additional
budget, but a specification within the partners‟ total budget.

The budget commitment of the partners and their responsibility within the common activities will be
specified in a related section of the Partnership Agreement.

Procedures for the eligibility of common costs can be different in each Member State. The partners will
always have to ask their national authorities for clarification in the respect of Community rules.

Costs cannot be shared between an ERDF and an IPA Project Partners. Nevertheless, IPA Project
Partners of a same country could share costs referring to the project‟s common
management/coordination activities among themselves.



3.4.6   Project revenues

In line with Article 55 of the of Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, if a project generates revenue,
it must be deducted from eligible costs in full or pro-rata depending on whether it was generated
entirely or partly by the co-financed operation. The ERDF funding is calculated on the basis of the total
eligible expenditures after deduction of any revenue generated during the project period and within
five years of the completion of the project.

Projects – where it is possible to objectively estimate the revenues in advance – shall indicate the
amount of possible revenues in the application form. Project generated revenues have to be reported
regularly by the project partners in the progress reports and in the final report, and verified by the
designated controllers at partner level.

Project generated revenues are for example conference participation fees, revenues from the sales of
publications or books, etc.




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IPA Project Partners will not, in any case, implement revenue generating activities.



3.4.7       Eligibility of expenditures by budget line

Project expenditures are eligible under the following budget lines:

                      1.      Staff costs

                      2.      Overheads

                      3.      Travel and accommodation costs

                      4.      External expertise and services

                      5.      Equipment

                      6.      Small scale investments

                      7.      Financial charges and guarantee costs



        1. Staff costs

The costs of the personnel executing tasks for the project management (project coordinator, project
manager, assistant, financial manager, etc.) are eligible under the following conditions:

-       members of the project team should be directly employed by the lead partner or the project
        partner‟s organisation on the basis of regular work contract between the employees of the lead
        partner or the partner‟s organisation. The employee works in full time or partly for the project. In
        case, the lead partner or the partner‟s organisation does not have the adequate professionals to
        perform the tasks related to the project, they can require external experts for these tasks. These
        costs shall be budgeted under the cost category external expertise and services.

-       staff costs shall be calculated in hourly rates according to the following rules:

             o   only gross salaries – based on payslips or other documentation of similar status – can be
                 taken into consideration.

             o   social contribution charges shall be calculated according to the national legislation
                 concerned. No extra charges besides social contribution charge can be included in the
                 hourly rate.

             o   fringe benefits, rewards over the monthly salaries are not eligible.

    -   staff costs must be supported by the following documents:

             o   work contract which permits the identification of the employment relationship of the
                 project staff with the partner‟s organisation;

             o   a clear assignment including information on the extent of involvement to the project;




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             o     pay slips, proofs of payment (e.g. bank statements), and calculation evidence for the
                   determination of the hourly rates of the project staff;

             o     timesheets which prove the overall working time and the time spent on carrying out
                   activities for the project (name of the employee, date, time and detailed description of the
                   activity); the timesheet must be signed by the project‟s assigned employee and by the
                   employer.

       2. Overheads

Overheads can be allocated to the project according to two methods:

       a) overheads directly allocated to the project (real costs);

       b) overheads allocated proportionally to project (flat rates based on average real costs).
                                                                              4
Overhead costs cannot exceed 25 % of the staff costs of the project . The LP/ PPs shall decide on
the method suitable for the organisation for the accounting of overheads which should remain the
same during the whole implementation period. Combination of the two methods is not allowed.

       a) overheads directly allocated to the project

This method can be applied if it is possible to allocate the overhead costs directly to the project and
are justified by receipted invoices or accounting documents having a probative equivalent value.

Eligible costs for this method:

-      Office costs such as office rental fees, electricity, heating, water and service charges related
                                                            2
       solely to the project and corresponding to the m space used for project activities. Besides
       standard accounting material, a copy of the office rental contract/agreement is obligatory for
       eligibility.

-      Administrative costs such as phone calls, fax, internet, postage, copying, and office supplies
       related solely to the project.

       b) Overheads allocated proportionally to project

This method can be applied if it is impossible to allocate the overhead costs directly to the project.
General conditions for the use of flat rates are the followings:

-      Proportionally distributed overhead costs must be attributable to the implementation of the project;

-      The calculation of overheads shall be properly documented and reviewed yearly. In case of on the
       spot checks, the relevant accounting documents supporting the calculation method shall be
       available for the controllers at the partners‟ premises.

-      The costs must be distributed according to the following methods depending on which key best
       reflects the type of cost:

             o     the ratio “number of people working for the operation / number of people working in the
                   organisation or department”

4
    direct costs of an operation which can affect the level of overheads




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          o   the ratio “number of hours worked on the operation / number of hours worked in total in
              the organisation or department”

          o   the ratio “surface used by the personnel working for the operation/surface of the
              organisation or department”

Eligible costs for this method:

-    administrative service, book-keeping, salary administration, postal / telephone services, copying
     and centralized computer support;

-    office supplies;

-    office costs such as office rental fees, electricity, heating, water and service charges related solely
                                                    2
     to the project and corresponding to the m space used for project activities. Besides standard
     accounting material, a copy of the office rental contract/agreement is obligatory for eligibility.

     3. Travel and accommodation costs

Project related travel and accommodation costs and subsistence allowances (per diems) are eligible
costs under the following conditions:

-    only travelling costs of the “project staff” – as defined by the budget line 1. – are eligible.
     Travelling costs of external experts shall be included in the service contracts and budgeted under
     the “external expertise and services” budget line;

-    travels within the programme area are eligible costs (see also section 3.3.8 for further details);

-    as a general rule the most economic way of transport has to be used. Exceptions from this
     principle must be duly justified in each case;

-    LP/PPs shall apply per diem rates according to the national rules of the partner‟s organisation. Per
     diems accounted for the project include social contributions according to the relevant national
     rules;

-    accommodation costs can be accepted without reservation if they are in the middle price range.
     Higher price ranges must be duly justified in each case.

     4. External expertise and services

Services directly related to the project and ordered from an external party are eligible for the cost
categories listed below, under the following conditions:

-    the work of the external expert is essential to the project;

-    rates charged by the external expert are reasonable and are in relation to level of experience and
     expertise;

-    the selection of the external experts shall comply with the relevant National Public Procurement
     Law in force;

-    project partners cannot be contracted as external expert or subcontractor.

     a) External expertise




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    a. professional expertise (e.g. studies, researches, etc.);

    b. experts for project management, assistant, financial manager, etc (in case, the Lead Partner
       or the partner‟s organisation does not have the adequate professionals to perform the tasks
       related to the project or for shared activities as specified in section 3.3.5);

    c. costs of technical and financial experts, and accountancy and audit costs, if they are directly
       linked to the project and are necessary for its implementation, etc.

    b) Organisation of meetings and events

    a. expenses for organisation of conferences, seminars, meetings, workshops, project events
       directly related to the project and traceable from the approved application form;

    b. documentation of the participants (participant list) shall be provided in each cases for “catering
       expenses”;

    c. renting of premises and equipment for the events;

    d. interpretation at the events;

    e. printing of materials directly related to the events, etc.

    c) Promotion costs

    a. costs of brochures, leaflets;

    b. press releases, inserts in newspapers;

    c. newsletters;

    d. design and maintenance of web page for the project;

    e. other publication costs related to the project but not linked to specific events or seminars; etc.

    d) Other services

Other services concern costs not linked to specific budget lines, but necessary for the implementation
of the project. Eligible costs are for example:

        -   translations of project documents not linked to specific budget lines;

        -   reproduction of project documents not linked to specific budget lines, etc;

    5. Equipment

Purchase of equipment is eligible under the following conditions:

    -       equipment is necessary for the project implementation and is foreseen in the approved
            application form;

    -       equipment should be exclusively used for the project implementation;

    -       suppliers should be selected according to the rules of the relevant national public procurement
            law;




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     -   the full purchase price is only eligible in case that the total economic life and depreciation
         period are shorter than or equal to the project duration. In all other cases only depreciation
         costs shall be eligible.

The following costs can be eligible:

     -   special equipment necessary for the project implementation and foreseen in the application
         form (“content related equipment”), like laboratory equipment and special measurement
         equipment;

     -   office equipment (e.g. computers, laptops, office furniture, etc.) related to the project
         management can be eligible in duly justified cases and only if clearly indicated in the
         approved application form.

Depreciation costs:

According to art. 53 of Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006, the depreciation expenditure of depreciable
assets directly used for an operation, and incurred during the period of its co-financing, shall be
eligible, provided that the acquisition of the assets is not declared as eligible expenditure.

The invoice shall be submitted to and checked by the designated controller of the project partner and
shall be validated appropriately in order to avoid double financing. The relevant national rules for the
depreciation of assets shall be applied and the calculation of depreciation costs shall be submitted to
the controllers to verify the eligible depreciation cost.

Second hand equipment:

The purchase cost/depreciation cost of second hand equipment is eligible if:

     -   it can be certified that the equipment has not been previously purchased with the co-financing
         of public funds;

     -   the price of the equipment is in line with its market value and less than the price of similar new
         equipment;

     -   the equipment has the technical characteristics necessary for the project.

     6. Small scale investments

The SEE Transnational Programme, as well as the other transnational cooperation programmes, is
not intended as an investment programme due to its limited budget and its cooperative nature.

Small scale investments are eligible where the transnational impact of the investment is demonstrated
and the activity is approved in the application form.

Thus, eligible investments either follow a transnational physical or functional link over the national
border (i.e. technical infrastructure improving innovation performance of a transnational network for
development of entrepreneurship and research; technical infrastructure improving the diffusion of
knowledge across the SEE; infrastructure and technical investments in ports, railway routes, inland
waterways and road junctions improving the operability of a transnational transport corridor, etc.) or
create a transferable practical solution through a case study in one area, which is jointly evaluated by
the project partners and transferred for testing in at least two other participating countries (new
broadly applicable technologies for the development of entrepreneurship; ICT solutions unlocking




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accessibility of peripheral areas; solutions reducing land-based river pollution; solutions for efficient
production and using of bio-mass; solutions for energy saving in buildings; technical solutions
increasing the share of public transportation).

The Programme does not finance investments that do not have transnational relevance.

The contractors of investments should be selected according to the rules of the national public
procurement law in force. Where works are foreseen, information on expenditure related to manpower
and provision of construction materials is to be provided compulsorily and each item must be
presented separately.

The contractor cannot be partner in the operation.

The purchase of land is eligible in duly justified cases if it does not exceed 10 % of the total eligible
costs for the operation concerned, in line with article 7 of Regulation EC 1080/2006.

    7. Financial charges and guarantee costs

Financial charges and guarantee costs are eligible costs according to article 49 of EC Regulation
1828/2006. The following charges and costs shall be eligible for a contribution from the ERDF:

    -   charges for transnational financial transactions;

    -   bank charges for opening and administering the account or accounts where the
        implementation of an operation requires a separate account or accounts to be opened;

    -   the cost of guarantees provided by a bank or other financial institution to the extent to which
        the guarantees are required by national or Community legislation;

    -   legal consultancy fees, notarial fees if they are directly linked to the project and are necessary
        for its implementation.

Any other types of financial charges are ineligible.

3.4.8   Special eligibility rules

Special eligibility rules apply additionally to the general rules for project expenditures for the
preparation costs, the expenditures incurred outside the programme area and the in-kind contribution.

    a) Preparation costs

Costs that have been incurred for the preparation of the project are eligible costs for ERDF Partners
only according to the following conditions:

    -   preparation costs can only be eligible if they were incurred on or after
             st
        the 1 of January 2007 and before the date of approval of the application form. Preparation
        costs shall be paid before the submission of the first progress report;

    -   preparation costs should show direct connection to the approved project and should be
        included in the approved application form;

    -   costs for preparation of the approved project cannot exceed 2% of the total eligible
        expenditures of the project or 40.000 EUR whichever is reached earlier.




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Eligible costs for preparation might include:

       -    External expertise costs and/ or staff costs for the preparation of the application documents;

       -    Joint meetings for the preparation of the project;

       -    Travels directly related to the joint meetings.

       -    Preparatory studies, analysis and researches for activities to be carried on within the project;

Overheads are not eligible under preparation costs.

Preparation costs are not eligible under IPA.

       b) Expenditures according to the “10% flexibility rule”

ERDF Regulation 1080/2006, Art. 21, commas 3 and 4, states:



       ERDF Regulation Article 21


     3. In the context of cross border, transnational and interregional co-operation, the ERDF may finance
        expenditure incurred in implementing operations or parts of operations on the territory of countries
        outside the European Community up to a limit of 10% of the amount of its contribution to the
        operational programme concerned, where they are for the benefit of the regions of the Community.

     4. Member States shall ensure the legality and regularity of these expenditures. The managing
        authority shall confirm the selection of operations outside the eligible areas as referred to under
        paragraphs 1, 2 and 3.


According to the abovementioned article, the “10% flexibility rule” can be considered for the benefit of
two types of partners:

       a) ERDF LP or ERDF PP: in case of expenditure incurred for the implementation of a project or
                                                                            5
          part of it in countries outside the EU, part of the Programme area ;

       b) non EU PP of the programme area: for the implementation of specific activities within one or
          more work packages of the project, not financed by IPA, ENPI or other public funds.

Special conditions and eligible expenditures under the 10% flexibility rule:

       -    costs to be spent according to the 10% flexibility rule must be traceable from the approved
            application form;

       -    costs shall be clearly planned in the budget of the ERDF LP or ERDF PP and shall be directly
            paid by the ERDF LP or ERDF PP;

       -    the need for the activities outside the EU or the involvement of non-EU PPs for the
            implementation of the project and the achievements of its objectives has to be clearly
            demonstrated;


5
    Travel and accommodation costs can be considered eligible also outside the Programme area if clearly indicated in the
      application form and fulfil all the mentioned special conditions.




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    -   the benefit of the EU territory has to be always demonstrated, during the assessment of the
        project proposal and during the implementation (validation of the costs).

In particular, for the 10% ERDF costs for the benefit of the non EU PP of the programme area
(case b) some further conditions apply:

    -   costs shall be included in the budget of the ERDP LP or ERDF PP that provides the co-
        financing and is responsible for the validations of these costs;

    -   only expenditure related to cost categories travel and accommodation, external expertise and
        services, equipment and small scale investments are allowed;

    -   the overall financial responsibility lies on the ERDF LP.

Eligible expenditures:

    -   travel and accommodation costs for EU and non-EU PPs outside the programme area and
        outside the EU (i.e. participation to a relevant international thematic conference in Japan);

    -   travel and accommodation costs of the non-EU PPs, not financed by IPA, ENPI or other public
        funds, within the programme area (i.e. participation of Serbian PP to project meetings in
        Austria);

    -   costs of organisation of joint meetings in non-EU countries within the programme area (i.e.
        organisation of a workshop in Ukraine);

    -   costs for the implementation of specific activities within one or more work packages of the
        project in non EU countries within the programme area (i.e. organisation and implementation
        of training activities in Montenegro).

Other eligibility rules not specified have to be applied according to the general rules for project
expenditures.

Travels and accommodation costs for EU PPs within the programme area have to be considered
within the regular budget.

As a general rule, the 10% flexibility rule will be available for all projects.

The Monitoring Committee however, reserves the right to revise this general approach throughout the
overall programme implementation period, and to decrease or raise the percentage from call to call in
order to respect the limit of 10% of the ERDF contribution at programme level.
         st
For the 1 call, the threshold of 10% at project level shall apply.

    c) In kind contribution

In line with article 51 of Regulation (EC) 1828/2006, in-kind contributions shall be eligible expenditure
if they fulfil the following conditions:

a) they consist of the provision of land or real estate, equipment or raw materials, research or
professional work or unpaid voluntary work;

b) their value can be independently assessed and audited




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     -   In the case of the provision of land or real estate, the value shall be certified by an
         independent qualified valuer or duly authorised official body;

     -   In the case of unpaid voluntary work, the value of that work shall be determined taking into
         account the time spent and the hourly and daily rates of remuneration for equivalent work.

In any case, the rules of eligibility can be different in each Member State. In case of doubt, the
partners will have to ask their national authorities for clarification in the respect of Community rules.

In kind contributions are not eligible for IPA Project Partners.



3.4.9    EC Regulations relevant for the eligibility of expenditures

     Article 56 of Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006

     Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006

     Article 48-53 of Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006

     Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006

The following EC regulations shall be also applied during the verification of expenditures:

     Article 2 (5) Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, and Directive 2004/18/EC (Public procurement)

     Article 54 Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, (State Aid)

     Article 9 Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006, (Publicity)

     Article 48 (2) Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002, (Sound financial management)

     Article 16Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, (Equality between men and women and non-
     discrimination)

     Article 17 Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, (Sustainable development)

     Article 54 Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, (Double financing)

     Article 55 Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006, (Generation of revenue)

     Article 24 (d) Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006, (Legality and regularity of expenditure paid outside
     the Community)

All expenditure has to be in line with the EC Regulations and the relevant national rules and
legislation. Please note that the list of regulations may not be exhaustive and rules and regulations
may be amended during the Programme period.




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3.4.10 Decommitment Rule

According to the Structural Funds Regulation, programmes may have funds decommitted by the
European Commission in case the allocations set in the financial tables of the Operational Programme
                                                                                   6
are not translated into effective requests for payment within the set timeframe . Should this loss of
funds result from operations lagging behind their payment targets (based on the spending forecast
included in the final version of the approved Application Form), the Programme will be obliged to
reduce the budget of these projects. This provision will be clearly laid down in the Subsidy Contract.

In order to avoid losing funds both on the project and on the Programme level, it is important that:

      -    applicants carefully prepare a realistic spending forecast

      -    approved operations are ready to start implementation quickly after approval

      -    financial aspects are effectively monitored during implementation

      -    partners ensure regular, timely and full reporting.



3.5       Information and publicity requirements for projects
In order to complement and strengthen the measures set up in the programme‟s general
communication plan, an important role will be played by the projects themselves. The use of publicity
and communication are essential for the projects. They provide the most important channels through
which to broadcast stories about projects to a wide range of media, representatives from all levels of
government and other related stakeholders. In order to achieve efficient communication, commitment
from all projects is necessary.

Project participants are asked to follow the Information and Publicity measures for the beneficiaries of
ERDF funds mentioned in Art.7, 8 and 9 of the Commission Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006. They
shall inform the public about the assistance obtained from the ERDF and ensure that those who take
part in the operation have been informed of that funding. The requirements will be explained in
seminars for Lead Partners of approved projects, and backed up by information on the programme
website.

Derived from these regulations, appropriate information and publicity (I&P) measures on project and
programme level are required, as laid down in section 7.4 Information and publicity of the operational
programme.

The projects will be encouraged and supported by the JTS in setting up their own communication
plans and delivering their own publicity activities, in order to be able to act as true ambassadors of the
programme throughout the region and contribute to the strengthening of management of knowledge
within each project.

Thus, projects should make provisions that information is tailored to the needs of their specific target
groups. Other communication measures envisaged at project level will take into account the nature,
the size and the capacity of each project. Project teams are advised to appoint a member to be in

6
    Four years for the allocations of the years 2007 to 2010 (n+3, being „n‟ the year of commitment) and three years
    (n+2) for the allocations of the years 2011 to 2013.




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charge of communication and information activities. In order to give more impetus to their
communication measures and obtain as well economies of scale, the projects are recommended to
unite their forces and collaborate whenever it is possible in organising their communication activities.

Additional requirements are included in the Subsidy Contract (SC) and the Partnership Agreement
(PA). More information about information and publicity at both programme and project level is
available in the communication plan as well as in the communication toolkit for projects.




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4 Development and application


4.1       Project application: competitive and strategic calls
As mentioned in section 7.2 of the programme, different types of calls for project proposals are
envisaged for the implementation of the programme:

–    Competitive calls (bottom-up two step procedure), which are applied as standard procedure
    for the majority of projects, and

–     Strategic calls (top-down one step procedure), which are applied only in certain cases.

Different application and selection provisions apply for each type of call, namely.

      -    Competitive open call for proposals: transnational partnerships of all foreseen potential
           beneficiaries can submit proposals in line with one of the four priority axes of the
           Programme. The support of the Programme bodies on the project generation process is
           limited;

      -    Targeted call for “strategic projects”: a top-down approach is foreseen in order to
           strengthen and steer the integration process of the SEE territories and structures. This
           procedure should increase the support for the “strategic projects” generation and
           development process.

The proposal application procedures are illustrated in the table below:

Table 1: Type of Calls and Application Steps
Types of calls                      Application Steps




                   Open         calls                 st
Competitive        (periodical)       Two       step 1 step Expression of Interest
Calls                                 procedure
                                                      nd
                                                     2 step Full Application


Strategic Calls    Targeted calls
                                  One       step
                   for “strategic                Full Application
                                  procedure
                   projects”




4.1.1      Competitive calls
The open competitive call for proposals, according to chapter 7.2 of the operational programme,
follows a two step application procedure:

      -    Step 1 is the submission of the Expression of Interest (EoI);

      -    Step 2 is the submission of the complete Application Form (AF).




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In a first step, applicants are requested to submit an Expression of Interest based on a short form.
The EoI presents the objectives of the project, the foreseen budget, the type of activities, their
location and the cooperation area covered as well as the foreseen outputs and results and the
structure of the partnership.

Once filled in completely and accurately, the EoI can be uploaded on the specific section of the
website. Only electronic submission is allowed. The first version submitted will be taken in to
account; any further version of the same project proposal will not be considered as valid and will
not be assessed. Once the e-version of the document is submitted no changes are possible. The
time frame for submitting the EoI varies from 5 to 7 weeks.

Once the deadline for submission is expired, the technical evaluation of the EoI is carried out by
the JTS with the support of the SCPs, as indicated in chapter 5. The evaluation results are then
presented to the Monitoring Committee that decides on the EoIs to be invited to submit a full
application.

In very limited and specific cases, the applicants are provided with comments on their proposal and
furthermore might be asked to amend their proposal (e.g. extending the partnership, merging with
other project proposals, changing the geographical scope of the project, etc.). Applicants of
rejected proposals will be informed about the reason for rejection upon request.

As general information, the programme recommend to consider that project proposals should be
already in at an advanced stage when submitted as EoI: project partners already contacted and
involved and the overall structure well defined. Only project proposals matching a certain readiness
                                                                                        nd
and quality level and responding to the selection criteria can be invited to enter the 2 step of the
application procedure. As meetings are inevitable tools for project preparation, costs of such
preparatory events are eligible in case of approval. For details on eligible preparatory costs please
check section 3.3.8.
                       nd
Before opening the 2 step of the application procedure, the AF will be available for download on
the programme website. Once prepared, it will have to be uploaded online before the submission
deadline. In addition, one paper copy stamped and signed by the legal responsible of the Lead
Partner has to be sent via ordinary mail to the JTS as well before the submission deadline (date of
the post stamp).

The address is:

SEE Joint Technical Secretariat

in VÁTI Kht.

Gellérthegy u. 30-32

H-1016 Budapest, Hungary

Once the e-version of the document is submitted no changes are possible. Only the first version
submitted will be taken into account; any further version of the same project proposal will not be
considered as valid and will not be assessed.
         nd
During 2 step of the application procedure, project applicants might receive technical support by
the JTS and SCPs. The application of the second step will be evaluated by the JTS with the
support of SCPs and, if necessary, external experts.




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Proposals that in the second step present radically changed information in the partnership
composition and indicated activities will be rejected.

A shortlist ranking the proposals will be prepared which serves as a basis for project decision by
the Monitoring Committee. Rejected projects will be informed about the reasons for rejections upon
request. Applicants are free to resubmit their application in the following appropriate calls. The time
frame for submitting the EoI varies from 7 to 9 weeks.

Applicants should put extra care in the budget allocation per work package, per budget line and
above all per period allocation, as rules for project changes are rather strict.

Approved projects are expected to be ready-to-start after the approval.

Figure 2: Application Steps
                    Preparation




                                  Definition of the call’s main elements

                                           Opening of the call



                                         Expression of Interest
                     1st step




                                          Evaluation of the EoI

                                                                           around 7 months
                                      Pre-selection and invitation



                                   Submission of the application form
                       2nd step




                                          Evaluation of the AF

                                                Selection




Please note that both the Expression of Interest and the Application Form should be submitted in
English and that the Applicant’s Guidelines provide a detailed information for filling in the EoI
form and the AF. Furthermore, to better address the contents of the project and to check the
compliance with the relevant national and regional regulations, it is highly recommended that the
applicants get in contact with the SEE Contact Point (SCP) of their country

Development of both the EoI and later the whole AF is normally coordinated by the applicant,
nevertheless the proper involvement of project partners has to be included and underlined. Good
understanding of the content and project management arrangements included in the EoI by all
project partners is a key factor to a successful transnational project and are expected already at
this stage.




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5 Assessment and selection


5.1       Selection procedures and selection criteria in general
This paragraph illustrates clearly and transparently the project selection system. This system is
made public in order to make all stakeholders and project partners aware of the selection
procedures and criteria before preparing their applications. Hence they can develop high quality
proposals and assist the Programme to reach its aims of realising high quality, result-oriented
transnational projects relevant to the programme area.

The two types of calls need different selection provisions.

The following table illustrates the basic elements of the aforementioned project assessment types:

Table 2: Project assessment types

                                                                      Selection criteria
Types of calls                  Steps of implementation               Formal        Eligibility   Quality
                                                                      Check         Check         Check
                                                st
                                          1 step
                                                                      “Light assessment”
                                          Expression             of
Competitive Open       calls Two     step Interest
                                            nd
            (periodical)     procedure    2 step                      Full assessment
                                          Full Application
            Targeted
            restricted calls
Strategic                    One     step 1 step
            for “strategic                                            Full assessment
                             procedure    Full Application
            projects”
            (continuous)



ERDF Regulation 1080/2006, Article 19 provides a basic set of project selection criteria for all
ERDF funded territorial cooperation programmes. The SEE Operational Programme further
specifies project implementation principles (section 4.2) and project development and selection
standards (section 7.2). Hence the present SEE PM project selection criteria follow the same logic
and visualise to the Applicant the principles they should take into account when developing their
project idea.

In course of the selection process, three different sets of criteria are applied to come to the decision
of approving an application:

      -    a first set consists of the formal criteria – it confirms that a proposal has arrived within the
           set deadline and that the EoI or Application Form, depending on the step, is conform and
           complete. Project proposals that do not meet the formal criteria are sorted out and the
           Applicant is being informed within the shortest possible time;

      -    a second set consists of the eligibility criteria – it outlines the minimum requirements that
           an application has to meet. These criteria examine whether the proposal fulfils the
           minimum requirements on e.g. the structure of the transnational partnership, the general
           compatibility with the Programme‟s objectives and principles, the grant requested etc.
           Eligibility criteria can be answered with a “Yes” or “No” and are not open to interpretation.




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         Proposals, which do not fulfil the eligibility criteria, are sorted out or, if necessary, additional
         information is requested to the Applicant;

     -   the third and final set consists of quality criteria – these criteria form the basis for an
         assessment of the application with the aim of bringing the projects in a certain ranking for
         selection. Quality criteria are supplementary grouped in two categories: 1) Quality of
         Transnational Partnership and 2) Quality of the Content.

Hence three phases of project selection will be applied:

     -   Phase 1: Formal Check (checked by JTS‟s staff without requiring specific content related
         knowledge)

     -   Phase 2: Eligibility Check (checked by JTS‟s staff without requiring specific content
         related knowledge)

     -   Phase 3: Quality Check (checked by JTS and, if required, with involvement of external
         experts and National Coordination of partner states or corresponding national procedures,
                  nd
         for the 2 step)
                                                                                       st
The criteria for each step are outlined in the table below. While for the 1 step only some criteria
                                                                nd
are verified in each check phase (light assessment), for the 2 step all the listed criteria will be
checked (full assessment).

The table below gives you a general overview on the use of the criteria for the light and for the full
assessment.

Figure 3: Two step procedure and relevant selection criteria in competitive open and targeted calls

                                                                                   1. Step              2. Step
                                                                             Light Assessment      Full Assessment
                                                1. Formal Check
Timely submission                                                                     X                  X
Completeness of submitted application                                                 X                  X
                                              The application form includes:
1)   The Signed Declaration from each partner (standardised document                   -                 X
     with sections a-e),
2)   The Common Partnership Agreement and                                              -                 X
3)   Lead Partner Declaration (containing a statement that all contents of             -                 X
     the submitted application are true and a draft text for the relational
     obligations of the partners)
                                                   2. Eligibility Check
1)   Project fulfils minimum requirements for transnational partnerships               X                 X
2)   Project complies in general with the operational programme and has                X                 X
     impact in the programme area
3)   Requested grant is within the fixed thresholds (if and where applicable)          -                 X
4)   Project partners have secured own financing (national co-financing).     X (only indication         X
                                                                                  of type of
                                                                                  sources)
5)   Applicant and project partners are eligible                                       X                 X
6)   The proposed types of activities are eligible                                     X                 X




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7)  Project implementation has not started prior to the submission of the             X                  X
    application and can be finalised within the programme period (before 31
    December 2014)
8) Beneficiaries shall cooperate in at least two of the following ways: joint         X                  X
    development, joint implementation, joint staffing and joint financing
    (according Art. 19 ERDF Regulation)
                                                   3. Quality Check
Quality of Partnership
1.1 Composition of transnational partnership                                          X                  X
1.2 Quality of transnational co-operation                                             X                  X
1.3 Project management and coordination                                               -                  X
1.4 Internal and external communication / dissemination, knowledge                    -                  X
    management
Quality of Content
2.1 Project’s contribution to the overall objectives of the programme and to          X                  X
    EU principles
2.2 Project’s specific contribution to the Priority Axes and Areas of                 X                  X
    Intervention of the programme
2.3 Quality of work plan and description of types of activities                        -                 X
2.4 Concreteness and usability of the projects deliverables                            X                 X
2.5 Value for money                                                             X (only overall          X
                                                                                 coherence)
2.6 Synergies with other policies, programmes and projects                             X                 X




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5.2       Project selection criteria for competitive calls in detail

5.2.1        1. Phase: Formal Check

The Formal Check aims at confirming to the applicant that his/her proposal has arrived within the
set deadline and that the application form is conform and complete. After the Formal Check the
applicant can be informed whether his/her proposal will be further examined or not. This check will
be conducted entirely by the JTS.

Tab. 1: 1. Phase Formal Check
        Formal criteria                                   How to assess?                                          Result of
                                                                                                                 Assessment
     Timely submission                                 Submission within the deadline                              Yes or No
     Completeness of submitted EoI / Application Project must fulfil all criteria set out in the EoI:              Yes or No
     Form
                                                           - written in English;
                                                           - all required parts are included and
                                                                 fully filled in
                                                           - official form used
     The application form includes
        1) The Signed Declaration from each partner (standardised document with sections 1f),
        2) The Common Partnership Agreement
        3) The Lead Partner Declaration
     with the following sections:
     1.a) project respects equal opportunities and Part of the signed declaration in the AF                         Yes or No
            non-discrimination
     1.b) project has no harmful impact on the Part of the signed declaration in the AF                             Yes or No
            environment
     1.c) project respects the Information and Part of the signed declaration in the AF                             Yes or No
            Publicity rules
     1.d) project excludes double financing           Part of the signed declaration in the AF                      Yes or No
     1.e) project is of non-commercial nature, Part of the signed in the AF                                         Yes or No
            does not contradict state aid rules and
            respects the de minimis rule.
     1.f) Project partners are financially reliable, Part of the signed declaration from each                       Yes or No
            not bankrupt and are conform with all partner
            relevant clauses and rules of their
            countries
     2)     Common         Partnership     Agreement Common Partnership Agreement undersigned                       Yes or No
            undersigned by all partners7              by all artners
     3)     Lead Partner Declaration containing:      Declaration from the Lead Partner                             Yes or No
     3.a) A statement that all contents of the
            submitted application are true,
     3.b) A draft text for the relational obligations
            of the partners.




7
    IPA partners are subject to individual contracts with the respective Contracting Authority in their own country after the
      project proposal approval.




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5.2.2      2. Phase: Eligibility Check

Eligibility Criteria are of “knock-out” nature and shall be clearly answered with a YES or NO and
they are largely not subject to interpretation. A proposal has to positively address the entire set of
Eligibility criteria in order to proceed to the 3rd Phase of Quality Check.

Exceptions can be made in cases whether clarifications are necessary and the applicant might
have to supply additional documentation, e.g. when the public or public-equivalent status of a
project is ambiguous. However, such requests for clarifications are rare exceptions. Applicants may
not assume that such a procedure will be applied and should provide able documentation within
their proposal.

This phase will be conducted by the JTS and assisted by the National Coordination bodies
(National Committees) (SEE operational programme Chapter 7.1.7).

Tab. 2: Eligibility Check
       Eligibility criteria (eight)                 Description                                              Result     of
                                                                                                             Assessment
     1) Project      fulfils        minimum     Partners from a minimum of three partner states,              Yes or No
        requirements for        transnational   located in the eligible area, of which at least one
        partnerships                            shall be from a member state8
     2) Project complies in general with the    Project directly addresses clearly one of the Priority        Yes or No
        operational programme and has           Axes of the Operational Programme. The project
        impact in the programme area            complies with the goals of the programme and the
                                                respective Area of Intervention
     3) Project partners have secured own       Own/national financial means are available and                Yes or No
        financing (public co-financing)         secured by Lead Partner and Project Partners in
                                                the appropriate forms (declaration, Co-financing
                                                statement)
     4) Applicant and project partners are      Applicant and Project Partners of the project are             Yes or No
        eligible                                eligible according to the eligibility rules set out in the
                                                Operational Programme, the Programme Manual
                                                and the respective Call for proposals
     5) The proposed types of activities are    Activities and related expenditures are eligible              Yes or No
        eligible                                according to the eligibility rules set out in the
                                                Operational Programme, the Programme Manual
                                                and the Call for proposals9
     6) Project implementation has not          The implementation of the project has not started             Yes or No
        started prior to the submission of      prior to the submission of the application. Only
        the application and can be finalised    preparation costs up to 2% of total eligible costs are
        within the programme period             retroactive since 1.1.2007, max. 40.000 EUR.
        (before 31 December 2014). The          Preparation costs are acceptable only if they are
        timetable for the realisation and the   related to the project preparation phase. They have
        finalization of the project are         to be declared and detailed in the application form.
        consistent with the timeframe           Preparation costs are only ERDF eligible.
        required in the call


8
     The provision on the location within the programme area can be modified for strategic projects. The requirement for a
     minimum number of partners remains unaffected. However Reg. 1080/2006, Art. 19 does not specify if the above
     mentioned criterion must be satisfied by partners located within the programme area.
9
     For countries, where costs for first level control are foreseen, the necessary funds must be included. The Monitoring
     Committee will inform applicants through the national Contact Points about this obligation.




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   7) Beneficiaries shall cooperate in at o Joint development of the project: project and           Yes or No
      least two of the following ways: joint   application should be jointly developed and
      development, joint implementation,       agreed on by the partnership
      joint staffing and joint financing o Joint implementation: every partner should play
      (according      Art.     19   ERDF       an active role in the project implementation,
      Regulation)                              activities are carried out and co-ordinated by all
                                               project partners (not just run parallel)
                                             o Joint staffing: there should be a joint core
                                               project staff to co-ordinate and manage
                                               activities and tasks
                                             o Joint financing: the joint project budget should
                                               show the commitment by each project partner
                                               to the joint project


5.2.3    3. Phase: Quality Check

The purpose of quality criteria is to assess the quality of the eligible project proposals. Quality
criteria are closely linked to the nature and objectives of the SEE Operational Programme and are
common to all Priority Axes or Areas of Intervention. This phase will be conducted by the JTS
under the supervision of the Monitoring Committee according to the specifications of the SEE OP
(Chapters 7.1.1 and 7.1.2). External expertise and support from the National Coordination bodies
or corresponding national procedures can be acquired as and if required.

The assessment is based on an assessment matrix with the following criteria groups:

    1. Quality of Transnational Partnership

    2. Quality of Content

Each criteria group (“Partnership” and “Content”) is assessed on basis of sub-criteria each using
scores from 1 (very poor) to 5 (very good).

Tab. 3: Assessment scores
                                           Score              Significance
                                           1                  Very poor
                                           2                  Poor
                                           3                  Fair
                                           4                  Good
                                           5                  Very Good



Sub-Criteria to assess Partnership and Content

In the following tables the Sub-criteria to assess Partnership and Content are illustrated. The sub-
criteria are defined using a set of questions to be answered by the evaluator. Due to the complex
requirements of transnational projects, those questions cannot be answered with a yes or no
response, e.g. as in the second phase on eligibility check. The evaluator must assess to what
extent the questions are applicable to the specific proposal and if they are satisfactorily answered
by the applicant giving an overall assessment score.




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Tab. 4: Sub-criteria to assess the Quality of Transnational Partnerships (four sub-criteria)
Sub-criteria                      Guiding question & explanatory questions                             Result of
                                                                                                       Assessment
                                                                                                       Score
 1.1    Composition        of
                           –      Is the partnership composition well justified and able to contribute Max 5 points
 transnational partnership in a balanced manner to the implementation of the transnational co-
                              operation project?
 1.2 Quality of transnational Do project partners have the sufficient institutional and technical Max 5 points
 co-operation                 capacity to achieve the projects aims?
 1.3 Project management Is the transparency and efficiency of project management and co- Max 5 points
 and coordination       ordination secured?
 1.4 Internal and external Is internal and external communication / dissemination and knowledge Max 5 points
 communication            / management clearly addressed?
 dissemination, know-ledge
                        –
 management
 Quality of Transnational Maximum total score                                                   Max 20 points
 Partnerships



Tab. 5: Sub-criteria to assess the Quality of Content (six sub-criteria)
Sub-criteria                      Guiding question & explanatory questions                        Result of
                                                                                                  Assessment
                                                                                                  Score
 2.1 Project’s contribution To what extent the project provides a significant contribution to the Max 5 points
 to the overall objectives of overall objectives of the programme?
 the programme and to EU   –
 principles
 2.2 Project’s specific To what extent the project provides a significant contribution to Max 5 points
 contribution to the Priority Priority Axes and Areas of Intervention of the programme?
 Axes and Areas of
 Intervention     of     the
 programme
 2.3 Quality of work plan Is the project’s conceptual approach and work plan well designed and Max 5 points
 and description of types of realistic?
 activities

 2.4 Concreteness and Are the projects deliverables clearly defined and are the assumptions Max 5 points
 usability of the projects on their use realistic?
 deliverables

 2.5 Value for money         Is there a sound and reasonable budget and does the amount of the Max 10 points
                             grant being requested represent value for money?
 2.6 Synergies with other Are there synergies and / or complementarities with other territorial Max 5 points
 policies, programmes and co-operation projects or other EU funded policies and programmes?
 projects
 Quality of                  Maximum total score                                                     35 points
 Content




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Annex 1: Presentation of the Priority                                                         Axes             and
corresponding Areas of Intervention
Summarized descriptions – based on the approved Operational Programme – are elaborated for
every Area of Intervention of the four Priority Axes (Innovation, Environment, Accessibility,
Sustainable Growth Areas) in the SE-Europe Operational Programme.

The purpose of the summarized description is to provide to the potential applicants with details in a
concise form about the respective Area of Intervention, the Operational Objective pursued and
indications and suggestions for developing their project idea to a full fledged proposal.

The summarized description is completed by a number of practical project examples, which
illustrate the aforementioned elements of each Area of Intervention.

It should be noted that the EU co-financing rate for the four Priority Axes is 85%. Furthermore
applicants should be aware that State Aid rules should be respected in all cases.

Tab. 6: Priority Axes and Areas of Intervention (AoI)

Priority Axis 1        Priority Axis 2       Priority Axis 3          Priority Axis 4         Priority Axis 5
Facilitation   of      Protection   and      Improvement of           Development of          Technical assist-
innovation and         improvement of        the accessibility        transnational           ance to support
entrepreneurship       the environment                                synergies     for       implementation
                                                                      sustainable             and      capacity
                                                                      growth areas            building

AoI 1.1                AoI 2.1               AoI 3.1                  AoI 4.1                 AoI 5.1
Develop                Improve integrated    Improve co-ordina-       Tackle        crucial   Secure the core
technology        &    water management      tion in promoting,       problems affecting      management for the
innovation             and flood risk        planning and oper-       metropolitan areas      implementation of
networks          in   prevention            ation for primary &      and         regional    the programme
specific fields                              secondary trans-         systems            of
                                             portation networks       settlements
AoI 1.2                AoI 2.2               AoI 3.2                  AoI 4.2                 AoI 5.2
Develop        the     Improve prevention    Develop strategies       Promote a balan-        Implement
enabling               of environmental      to tackle the “digital   ced pattern of          accompanying
environment     for    risks                 divide”                  attractive and acc-     activities (…)
innovative                                                            essible      growth
entrepreneurship                                                      areas
AoI 1.3                AoI 2.3               AoI 3.3                  AoI 4.3
Enhance      the       Promote         co-   Improve framework        Promote the use of
framework              operation        in   conditions for multi-    cultural values for
conditions  and        management       of   modal platforms          development
pave the way for       natural assets and
innovation             protected areas
                       AoI 2.4
                       Promote      energy
                       and        resource
                       efficiency




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Priority Axis 1: Facilitation of innovation and entrepreneurship
Specific Objective of Priority Axis 1 is to facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship, knowledge
economy and to enhance integration and economic relations in the co-operation area. Priority Axis
1 shall contribute specifically to the future development of South East Europe as a place of
innovation contributing indirectly to the economic growth and employment in the technology
sector.

This priority axis seeks in particular to achieve three operational objectives and will support
transnational partnerships and action that contribute to:

     1. Develop technology and innovation networks in specific fields (fostering networking
        and technological co-operation in specific technology fields e.g. advanced engineering,
        Information and Communication Technologies)

     2. Develop the enabling environment for innovative entrepreneurship (addressing
        structural deficits especially in the SME sector)

     3. Enhance the framework conditions and pave the way for innovation (strengthening
        the enabling innovation environment at the governance level and promotion of public
        awareness for innovation).

Potential project partners and stakeholders in the facilitation of innovation and entrepreneurship
are all national, regional, local decision-makers and bodies in the fields of education, research,
knowledge-transfer, technology, labour-market, regional development, such as local and regional
public authorities, regional development agencies, chambers of commerce, SMEs; universities,
tertiary education, associations, technology transfer institutions; R&TD facilities, research
institutions, regional international centres of R&TD excellence; regional innovation agencies,
incubator houses; education and training centres, labour market services, social partners,
employers‟ associations, trade unions, as well as all population groups, which are affected by the
Areas of Intervention concerned.

The corresponding Areas of Intervention (AoI) are defined in detail in the following description.

AoI 1.1: Develop technology and innovation networks in specific fields

Purpose

The purpose of this area of intervention is primarily the preparation, creation or the restructuring of
technology and innovation-oriented networks in specific technology fields in the industrial and
service sectors relevant for the programme area.

The programme area faces many research, technology and innovation facilities and educational
infrastructures and potential poles with initial experience in co-operation, but in general sub-critical
mass and lack of (international) visibility. So there is a need to foster co-operation of networks,
clusters, technology platforms to create critical mass and strengthen specific technology fields, gain
(international) visibility, enable research, technology and innovation actors to participate at
European programmes more effectively, set up mechanism to allow sharing and dissemination of
key technologies, and help to establish supply chains.

The co-operation should – in the ideal case – generate concrete projects in building up technology
and innovation capacity for improved products, processes and services in specific technology fields




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(e.g. advanced engineering, automotive, ICT, plastics, Life science, urban technologies) and
should achieve at longer term a more intensive use of technology and innovation in South East
Europe. Therefore attention should be given also to the application of technology and innovation at
local and regional level and at integrating cleaner technologies and supporting innovation in public
services.

Activities should go beyond singular interests and show a real co-operative character and mutual
benefits.

Networking should be directly linked to action to develop skills and competencies. The exchange of
skill at various levels should be fostered (innovators, researchers, professors, students) allowing
the sharing of experience and knowledge.

In the framework of technology and innovation-oriented networks the implementation of co-
operative pilot projects connected with small-scale investments is possible.

In the programme area the public sector is expected to be the main business contract generator
especially through the utilization of Structural Funds. Networks fostering innovation and new
technologies (e.g. clean and energy efficient technologies, information and communication
technologies to manage mobility) shall promote the inclusion of innovative aspects in the public
procurement. This approach could be twofold: One the one hand innovative solutions will be
introduced in public services, on the other hand innovation could acquire the necessary critical
mass for market success. The introduction of an innovation-oriented public procurement requires
the development of public procurement rules and the assessment of tender rules that allow for the
accommodation of technical change and innovation risks (e.g. in the development of modern
technologies for water treatment plants, innovative energy concepts for public buildings, software
solutions for e-government and e-democracy).

Co-operation should also be sought with the Innovation Relay centres (IRC) which are financed
under the CIP (Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme 2007 – 2013). One of the
major tasks of these IRC offices is to find suitable co-operation partners across Europe.

Eligible activities

The orientation on research, technology and innovation encloses a significant entrepreneurial
development aspect. Hence pure academic research activities cannot be supported under this
programme.

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable.

It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to present an adequate
activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the proposed project
objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

Preference should be given to:




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–    Universities, research centres, scientific institutions, higher education institutions

–     Regional and local development agencies focused at technology and innovation (e.g. Regional
     Innovation Agencies, Technology transfer institutions)

–    National, regional and local authorities

–     The participation of the private sector, especially SMEs, is encouraged although it is not
     possible to directly support businesses

It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to present an adequate
partnership, which will produce concrete and tangible results, assure the fulfilment of the proposed
project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

    Preparing activities that support the development of technology and innovation-oriented
     networks in specific technology fields (e.g. feasibility studies, set up of databases)

    Developing transnational partnerships around research, technology and innovation centres and
     agencies in sectors with high technology contents

    Facilitating the formation or consolidation or restructuring of transnational networks of
     productive clusters

    Creating or reinforcing co-operation networks between companies and research, technology
     and innovation facilities of different countries and promoting joint action regarding applied
     research

    Creating transnational exchange-teams (out of technology and innovation agencies, centres)
     specialised in measures building up technology and innovation capacity for improved products,
     processes and services

    Transnational partnerships promoting the inclusion of innovative aspects in the public
     procurement regarding the application of technologies of common interest

    Strategic co-operation aiming at enhancing the use of innovative and cleaner new technologies
     and its application at local and regional level

    Establishing transnational networks between appropriate tertiary education and research,
     technology and innovation facilities

    Establishing joint training courses in connecting with technology and innovation networks

    Establishing science- and technology park networks developing standards and locational
     requirements for successful technology oriented real estates (“integrated high tech campus”) to
     be situated in the programme area

    Increasing the internationalisation level of research, technology and innovation facilities,
     especially in universities and in those areas, where the international rating for high educational
     level and research offer is still inadequate




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   Facilitating the application of technological innovation in the programme area by enhancing the
    mobility of researchers, supporting the exchange of knowledge

   Fostering policies to support access to and link between research, technology and innovation
    facilities.


Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching potentially the Area of intervention

                                                       Technology transfer and improvement of cooperation networks
                                                       between small businesses (SMEs), between these and other
Research and technological development                 businesses      and    universities,  post-secondary      education
                                        3
(R&TD), innovation and entrepreneurship                establishments of all kinds, regional authorities, research centres
                                                       and scientific and technological poles (scientific and technological
                                                       parks, technopoles, etc.)

                                                       Developing human potential in the field of research and
                                                       innovation, in particular through post-graduate studies and
Improving human capital                          74
                                                       training of researchers, and networking activities between
                                                       universities, research centres and businesses


                                                       Mechanisms for improving good policy and programme design,
Strengthening institutional capacity at national,
                                                  81   monitoring and evaluation at national, regional and local level,
regional and local level
                                                       capacity building in the delivery of policies and programmes.



AoI 1.2: Develop the enabling environment for innovative entrepreneurship

Purpose

The purpose of this area of intervention is primarily the preparation and/or creation (or the
restructuring) of networks for better utilization of the possibilities of the South East economic area
and for a more effective provision of collective business and innovation support services especially
for SMEs.

The need in the programme area seems to be obvious: A SME-based economy with some leading
companies as driving forces in innovation and internationalisation, but structural deficits in the SME
sector, such as missing access to knowledge, “bad roads” to markets, low levels of co-operation,
low level of internationalisation, lacking openness for new technologies and big disparities in
economic development throughout the programme area.

This area of intervention promotes “second level” clustering that means networking of existing
SME-support facilities in the programme area to set up mechanisms to allow sharing and
dissemination of effective approaches in supporting SME.

Therefore networks should exchange, develop, promote and apply (in pilot projects) appropriate
“soft measures", e.g. for better exploitation of the market opportunities in the area, ensuring SMEs‟
access to relevant information, support technology transfer, encouraging micro and family firms to
develop entrepreneurial spirit, mobilise start ups, manage intellectual and industrial property rights
and patent rights, ease the access to appropriate forms of finance and promote skills and
knowledge necessary for innovation.




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Eligible activities

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable. It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to
present an adequate activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the
proposed project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

Preference should be given to:

–     Business support actors and facilities with a view of the needs of SMEs (e.g. Chambers of
     commerce, collective business support actors)

–     Universities, research centres, scientific institutions, higher education institutions, tertiary
     education institutions

–    Regional and local development agencies focused at technology and innovation

–    National, regional and local authorities

–     The participation of the private sector, especially SMEs, is encouraged although it is not
     possible to directly support businesses

It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to present an adequate
partnership, which will produce concrete and tangible results, assure the fulfilment of the proposed
project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

    Networking of SME-support facilities to set up mechanisms for developing, sharing and
     dissemination of effective approaches in supporting innovative entrepreneurship

    Pooling expertise in networks to help SMEs diagnose and solve legal, organisational and
     human issues associated with innovation processes

    Co-operation activities for the support and promotion of female entrepreneurship

    Exchanging of practice and experience among innovative SME (managed by SME-support
     facility)

    Increasing the SMEs‟ awareness of innovation and technology approaching better roads to
     market

    Developing standards and locational requirements for successful innovation oriented real
     estates (“innovative business parks”) to be situated in the programme area

    Developing regional business support structures within transnational partnerships




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   Co-operation in the field of innovation financing, making SMEs more familiar with various
    financial engineering techniques or setting up of transnational innovation trusts.


Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching the Area of intervention


Research and technological development
                                        5              Advanced support services for firms and groups of firms
(R&TD), innovation and entrepreneurship



Research and technological development                 Other measures to stimulate research and innovation and
                                        9
(R&TD), innovation and entrepreneurship                entrepreneurship in SMEs


                                                       Developing human potential in the field of research and
                                                       innovation, in particular through post-graduate studies and
Improving human capital                          74
                                                       training of researchers, and networking activities between
                                                       universities, research centres and businesses


                                                       Mechanisms for improving good policy and programme design,
Strengthening institutional capacity at national,
                                                  81   monitoring and evaluation at national, regional and local level,
regional and local level
                                                       capacity building in the delivery of policies and programmes.



AoI 1.3: Enhance the framework conditions and pave the way for innovation

Purpose

The purpose of this area of intervention is primarily to set up exchange and co-ordination
mechanisms for research, technology and innovation approaches and policies (governance aspect)
and to increase public awareness on the importance of technological progress by transnational
actions in the area (awareness aspect).

Strengthening the capacity of institutions and of the society for innovation is a critical component of
overall innovation performance. Missing or lacking (national) innovation strategies are a main
characteristic of the programme area‟s innovation capacity. Whilst there has been in the best-case
attention focused on national and regional level of innovation systems, the programme is seeking
also to encourage the “transnational innovation system” for South East Europe. Transnational co-
operation is considered to be suitable to develop the institutional framework to facilitate and foster
innovation, to create an innovation friendly environment by co-ordinated action in the programme
area (Innovative milieu, new forms of institutional governance). This could be developed taking into
account the experiences on existing good practice in “Regional Innovation Strategies” from the
EU‟s Innovative Action Programmes.

A modern system of promoting innovation requires the understanding of a majority of citizens. The
image and success of technology locations depends also on how the general social climate for new
developments is open-minded. In a society, which tendentious positively faces “new”, also
innovative ideas will more easily become generally accepted and will attract researchers and
enterprises. Concerning the long-term impact of the interventions special attention should be paid
to the young people, especially parallel to educational schemes.

Activities should e.g. support the image formation of South East Europe as a place of innovation
and growth, encourage young people to develop entrepreneurial spirit, mobilise existing institutions




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in contacting and communicating with the population, wake enthusiasm for scientific education,
tackle information lacks in the area of technology and innovation, diminish fears concerning new
technologies, paying special attention to gender issues to increase the participation of women in
technology and innovation.

Eligible activities

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable. It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to
present an adequate activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the
proposed project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

Preference should be given to:

–     Universities, higher education institutions, research centres, scientific institutions, colleges,
     tertiary education institutions

–    Regional and local development agencies focused at technology and innovation

–    National, regional and local authorities

–    Chambers of commerce, collective business support actors

–    Non-governmental organisations / public-like organisations

It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to present an adequate
partnership, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the proposed project
objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

    Setting up exchange and co-ordination mechanisms for research, technology and innovation
     approaches and policies across South East Europe between key players of the innovation
     system (including exchange schemes)

    Improving the common governance at regional and local level with respect to innovative
     entrepreneurship. Activities can support the development of “innovation management”,
     “innovation support” and “innovation governance” through analysis and monitoring of
     innovation performance and the development and co-ordination of innovation policy

    Networking between regions sharing an interest in a specific economic field /sector, aiming at
     strengthening the economic profile of respective regions

    Promoting the image formation of South East Europe as a place of innovation and growth by
     ICT




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    Mobilising existing institutions (e.g. research institutes, education centres, media) in contacting
     and communicating via ICT with citizen to promote innovation

    Using ICT-tools of the evolving Information Society to encouraging young people to develop
     entrepreneurial spirit and wake enthusiasm for scientific education (e.g. open labs for pupils
     accessible by ICT)

    Taking the chance to explain and experiment the potential of Environmental Technologies
     Innovation.


Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching the Area of intervention


                                                       Developing human potential in the field of research and
                                                       innovation, in particular through post-graduate studies and
Improving human capital                          74
                                                       training of researchers, and networking activities between
                                                       universities, research centres and businesses


                                                       Mechanisms for improving good policy and programme design,
Strengthening institutional capacity at national,
                                                  81   monitoring and evaluation at national, regional and local level,
regional and local level
                                                       capacity building in the delivery of policies and programmes.

                                                       Information and communication technologies (access, security,
Information society                              11    interoperability, risk-prevention, research, innovation, e-content,
                                                       etc.)


                                                       Services and applications for the citizen (e-health, e-
Information society                              13
                                                       government, e-learning, e-inclusion, etc.)




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Priority Axis 2: Protection and improvement of the environment
Specific Objective of Priority Axis 2 is to override the constraints imposed by national barriers, to
foresee future environmental threats and opportunities and to develop common transnational action
for the protection of nature and humans.

This priority axis seeks in particular to achieve four operational objectives and will support
transnational partnerships and action that contribute to:

      1. Improve integrated water management and flood risk prevention (development of
         transnational structures and systems/tools for an integrated management of water
         resources and flood risk prevention)

      2. Improve prevention of environmental and technological risks (development of
         transnational structures and systems/tools for environmental risk protection, and
         comprehensive policy development to reduce risks and impacts on human health,
         biodiversity and other environmental issues)

      3. Promote co-operation in management of natural assets and protected areas (co-
         operation and know-how transfer in managing natural assets – e.g. vulnerable ecosystems,
         natural/semi natural areas, protected areas – and support of transnational awareness
         building on the importance of natural assets as development factor)

      4. Promote energy and resource efficiency (establish co-ordination and transfer of know-
         how on energy and resource efficiency policies, to co-operate in the adoption and
         adaptation of EU policies and directives in the relevant fields and the preparation of the
         area to cover the expected rise in energy demand and resources consumption through
         environmental friendly approaches).
                                                                     10
For the programme area the 6. Environment Action Programme of the European Community
2002-2012 (6. EAP) and the derived seven thematic strategies (e.g. Thematic Strategy on Air,
Waste prevention and recycling, Marine Environment, Soil, Pesticides, Natural resources and
Urban Environment) offer a usable guideline for transnational action. Transnational action could
primarily serve to overcome the area fragmentation and to provide the framework for the adoption
and development of the required methods and structures.

Potential project partners and stakeholders in the protection and improvement of the
environment are all national, regional, local decision-makers and bodies in the field of environment,
natural resources management, water management, environmental risk-management, energy-
efficiency such as local and regional authorities, environmental interest groups, regional
associations, regional innovation agencies, applied environmental research institutes, associations,
energy suppliers, SMEs, interest groups as well as all population groups, which are affected by the
Areas of Intervention concerned.

The corresponding Areas of Intervention (AoI) are defined in detail in the following description.




10
     http://ec.europa.eu/environment/




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AoI 2.1: Improve integrated Water Management and Transnational Flood Risk
Prevention

Purpose

The purpose of the area of intervention is the development of transnational structures and
systems/tools for an integrated management of water resources and flood risk prevention.

The transnational co-operation should generate concrete projects, which will address the need for
common actions in the management of river basins coastal areas, seas, lakes and fresh-water
resources. The promotion of networking and skills for successful transnational operations,
accompanied with infrastructure investment where appropriate will give the regions the necessary
tools.

Integrated water management and transnational flood risk prevention should contribute to
addressing climate change. Moreover, it is important that flood protection is developed in a way
that is coherent with the Water Framework Directive and the Directive on the assessment and
management of floods (e.g. integrated management plan covering the two Directives).

Eligible activities

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable. It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to
present an adequate activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the
proposed project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

–   National, regional and local authorities

–   Universities, research centres, scientific institutions

–   Non-governmental organisations / public-like organisations

–   International organisations and bodies?

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

   Elaborating integrated development and management plans of river basins, catchments areas
    and coastal areas, seas, lakes and fresh-water resources including sustainable land use
    policies, agriculture and forest development supporting and intensifying an integrated approach
    of landscape and land use management

   Integrated flood risk management including management plans, harmonisation of different
    standards; improved institutional co-operation and better integration of national and regional
    administrative structures

   Elaborating foresight studies and analyses about impacts of climate change on meteorology,
    hydrology, erosion etc.




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    Coordinating, harmonising and developing joint water management activities

    Coordinating, harmonising and developing of monitoring systems and alert mechanisms

    Coordinating, harmonising and developing integrated reaction systems for flood protection

    Coordinating, harmonising and developing common civil protection systems

    Developing alternative methods and systems of water quality protection and wastewater
     treatment

    Strengthening the institutional capacity and human resources at national, regional and local
     level for the development of integrated water management and transnational flood risk
     prevention especially in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive and other related
     acts.


Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching the Area of intervention

                                                       Risk prevention (including the drafting and implementation of
Environmental protection and risk prevention     53    plans and measures to prevent and manage natural and
                                                       technological risks)

                                                       Developing human potential in the field of research and
                                                       innovation, in particular through post-graduate studies and
Improving human capital                          74
                                                       training of researchers, and networking activities between
                                                       universities, research centres and businesses


                                                       Mechanisms for improving good policy and programme design,
Strengthening institutional capacity at national,
                                                  81   monitoring and evaluation at national, regional and local level,
regional and local level
                                                       capacity building in the delivery of policies and programmes.




AoI 2.2: Improve prevention of environmental risks

Purpose

The purpose of the area of intervention is the development of transnational structures and
systems/tools for environmental risk protection, and comprehensive policy development to reduce
risks and impacts on human health, biodiversity and other environmental issues.

South East Europe is an area affected by a large number of environmental risks. Some of them are
endemic (e.g. earthquakes, droughts, floods and forest fires), others are imposed or accelerated
by human activities (e.g. contamination, landslides, erosion) and others are inflicted by global
factors such as the climate change. In the programme area environmental risks take a variety of
forms ranging from droughts, earthquakes and fires in the Southern part to chemical spills and
landslides in the Northern part. Risks are expected to increase due to intensification of human
activities and due to accelerated global climate change.

Transnational action is considered to be necessary since even single environmental hot spots can
have a clear impact on a huge area and population.

The transnational co-operation should generate concrete projects, which will develop policies,
plans and systems for the joint prevention of environmental risks while facilitating the exchange of




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information and co-ordination of activities in cases of emergency along with rehabilitation of
affected areas and risk sources.

Eligible activities

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable. It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to
present an adequate activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the
proposed project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

–   National, regional and local authorities

–   Regional and local development agencies

–   Universities, higher education institutions, research centres, scientific institutions

–   Non-governmental organisations / public-like organisations

–   Voluntary sector organisations

–   International organisations and bodies

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

   Developing integrated policies for co-ordinated risk prevention and reaction to environmental
    risks

   Developing plans, measures and systems, including spatial and land use planning to prevent
    and cope with natural risks (especially fires, floods, desertification, droughts, earthquakes) and
    technological risks

   Developing monitoring systems (e.g. emission control, dataset about potential sources of
    pollution, emission monitoring systems for air quality, pollutants etc.) and alert mechanisms on
    potential natural and industrial hazards, forest fires as well as chemical and biological
    contamination of water, soil and air

   Applying alert mechanisms on potential hazards (floods, coastal hazards, forest fires; chemical
    and biological contamination of water, soil and air; industrial accidents, safety control of nuclear
    power plants etc.)

   Developing information systems concerning the transport of dangerous goods and identification
    of relevant actions to inform the relevant groups

   Developing regional “risks foresights” including future risk potentials, e.g. along transport
    corridors, economic activity zones etc.

   Identifying and managing risk sources (information policies, exchange of data and reports etc.);




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    Promoting transnational actions on environmental objectives like reducing air emissions,
     protection of soil etc.

    Implementing awareness raising and emergency planning for the population located in very
     sensitive areas

    Implementing strategies for rehabilitation of brownfields

    Facilitating common procurement and/or operation of risk prevention infrastructure.


Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching the Area of intervention

                                                       Risk prevention (including the drafting and implementation of
Environmental protection and risk prevention     53    plans and measures to prevent and manage natural and
                                                       technological risks)
Environmental protection and risk prevention     54    Other measures to preserve the environment and prevent risks

                                                       Developing human potential in the field of research and
                                                       innovation, in particular through post-graduate studies and
Improving human capital                          74
                                                       training of researchers, and networking activities between
                                                       universities, research centres and businesses


                                                       Mechanisms for improving good policy and programme design,
Strengthening institutional capacity at national,
                                                  81   monitoring and evaluation at national, regional and local level,
regional and local level
                                                       capacity building in the delivery of policies and programmes.




AoI 2.3: Promote co-operation in management of natural assets and protected areas

Purpose

The purpose of the area of intervention is the co-operation and know-how transfer in managing
natural assets (e.g. vulnerable ecosystems, natural/semi natural areas, protected areas) and
support of transnational awareness building on the importance of natural assets as development
factor.

The transnational co-operation should generate concrete projects, which will address the need for
the implementation of EU legislation and will facilitate the co-ordinated management of the
designated areas. The projects should also respect the demand for know-how transfer and the
development of skills for the useful management of natural assets and protected areas.

The EU offers an extensive framework of directives, guidelines and tools for the management of
natural assets and protected areas. In most of the cases this framework underlines the importance
for transboundary and transnational action. In the “congested” programme area – with expected
rise in economic activity and correlated land use changes – this importance becomes a necessity.

Eligible activities

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable. It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to




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present an adequate activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the
proposed project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

–   National, regional and local authorities

–   Regional and local development agencies

–   Universities, research centres, scientific institutions

–   Non-governmental organisations / public-like organisations (e.g. environmental interest groups)

–   International organisations and bodies

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

   Developing common strategies in managing natural assets and protected areas

   Enhancing know-how transfer about comprehensive implementation of relevant EU Directives
    (Fauna-Flora-Habitat Directive, Bird Directive, Water Frame Directive etc.)

   Enhancing public information and public participation with respect to the management of
    natural assets and protected areas

   Developing and co-ordinating management plans and structures for areas of transnational
    interest designated as protected areas at the national level

   Developing corporate identity for transnational networks of protected areas (e.g. Natura 2000)

   Promoting the development of actions linked to biodiversity and the preservation of natural
    heritage, especially in Natura 2000 sites

   Developing and exchanging management practices (especially within Natura 2000), to
    ensuring the overall coherence and complementarity of the protected areas and addressing the
    problems of fragmentation and connectivity between Natura sites in the area

   Implementing transnational strategies for sustainable rural/maritime tourism in sensitive areas

   Building awareness on the importance of natural assets as a development factor for economic
    sectors like agriculture, tourism and health services.




Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching the Area of intervention

Environmental protection and risk prevention   51   Promotion of biodiversity and nature protection
Tourism                                        55   Promotion of natural assets
Tourism                                        56   Protection and development of natural heritage




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                                                       Developing human potential in the field of research and
                                                       innovation, in particular through post-graduate studies and
Improving human capital                          74
                                                       training of researchers, and networking activities between
                                                       universities, research centres and businesses


                                                       Mechanisms for improving good policy and programme design,
Strengthening institutional capacity at national,
                                                  81   monitoring and evaluation at national, regional and local level,
regional and local level
                                                       capacity building in the delivery of policies and programmes.




AoI 2.4: Promote energy and resource efficiency

Purpose

The purpose of the area of intervention is to establish co-ordination and transfer of know-how on
energy and resource efficiency policies, to co-operate in the adoption and adaptation of EU policies
and directives in the relevant fields and the preparation of the area to cover the expected rise in
energy demand and resources consumption through environmental friendly approaches.
Interventions should be accompanied by impact assessments, taking in account possible negative
impacts on agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, soil, water, air and landscape development at
transnational level.

The EU Environmental Policies set clear objectives e.g. regarding climate change and reduction of
greenhouse gases emissions. Other initiatives and in particular the Competitiveness and
Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) 2007-2013 and its sub-programme “Intelligent Energy
for Europe” emphasize on the promotion of energy and resources efficiency. Transnational action
in this area contains a significant element of transfer of know-how from the most experienced
zones to those with still unutilised resources.

The transnational co-operation should generate concrete projects, which will support the adoption
of energy and resource efficient policies and technologies. Projects should also facilitate the co-
ordination among relevant stakeholders and raise the awareness for resource efficient policies and
technologies in the programme area.

Eligible activities

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable. It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to
present an adequate activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the
proposed project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

–    National, regional and local authorities

–    Regional and local development agencies

–    Energy agencies

–    Chambers of commerce, collective business support actors




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–   Transport authorities, (Public) Transport operator

–   Universities, research centres, scientific institutions

–   Non-governmental organisations / public-like organisations

–   Voluntary sector organisations

–   Associations for renewable energies

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

   Developing policies for sustainable energy supply and resource efficiency at national or
    regional level, which help to implement the relevant EU guidelines and directives

   Setting up joint strategies for energy saving and energy efficiency

   Developing “resources consumption foresights” including future bottlenecks and problem areas

   Facilitating the co-ordination of energy providers, especially among renewable energy sources
    associations and regional and local authorities

   Coordinating development of infrastructure for the utilisation of renewable energy sources and
    especially hydropower at a transnational level

   Supporting the development and use of fuel from renewable sources

   Supporting the awarding and promotion of energy and resource efficient technologies and
    actions

   Developing transnational policies for emission reduction to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

   Developing transnational strategies which support and co-ordinate sustainable exploitation
    schemes of renewable energy sources (hydropower, biomass, geothermic energy etc.)

   Enhancing know-how transfer about comprehensive national strategies for sustainable waste
    management (avoiding – re-using – recycling)

   Enhancing know-how transfer about comprehensive national strategies for sustainable fresh
    water management (efficient water use strategies and technologies)

   Developing transnational networks on “green industries”, energy agencies, regional and local
    authorities

   Developing measures reducing the volume of traffic and/or support environmental-friendlier
    means of transportation and especially public transport

   Promoting the development of sustainable waste management activities and the movement to
    a recycling society

   Stimulating energy efficiency and the development of renewable energies as well as better co-
    ordinated efficient energy management systems and promoting sustainable transport including




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     information to industrial customers, service providers and citizens on issues such as how to
     reduce energy consumption.


Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching the Area of intervention

                                                       Assistance to SMEs for the promotion of environmentally-friendly
                                                       products and production processes (introduction of effective
Research    and     technological  development
                                               6       environment managing system, adoption and use of pollution
(R&TD), innovation and entrepreneurship
                                                       prevention technologies, integration of clean technologies into firm
                                                       p
Energy                                           39    Renewable energy: wind
Energy                                           40    Renewable energy: solar
Energy                                           41    Renewable energy: biomass
Energy                                           42    Renewable energy: hydroelectric, geothermal and other
Energy                                           43    Energy efficiency, co-generation, energy management
Environmental protection and risk prevention     44    Management of household and industrial waste
Environmental protection and risk prevention     45    Management and distribution of water (drinking water)
Environmental protection and risk prevention     46    Water treatment (waste water)
Environmental protection and risk prevention     47    Air quality
Environmental protection and risk prevention     48    Integrated prevention and pollution control
Environmental protection and risk prevention     49    Mitigation and adaptation to climate change
Environmental protection and risk prevention     50    Rehabilitation of industrial sites and contaminated land
Environmental protection and risk prevention     52    Promotion of clean urban transport

                                                       Mechanisms for improving good policy and programme design,
Strengthening institutional capacity at national,
                                                  81   monitoring and evaluation at national, regional and local level,
regional and local level
                                                       capacity building in the delivery of policies and programmes.




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Priority Axis 3: Improvement of the accessibility
Specific Objective of Priority Axis 3 is to promote co-ordinated preparation for the development of
accessibility networks and the support of multi-modality.

This priority axis seeks in particular to achieve three operational objectives and will support
transnational partnerships and action that contribute to:

1. Improve co-ordination in promoting, planning and operation for primary and secondary
   transportation networks (Physical accessibility - provision of tools and space for co-ordinated
   promoting, planning and operation for primary and secondary transportation networks.)

2. Develop strategies to tackle the “digital divide” (Virtual accessibility - access to ICT
   networks and services - joint initiatives to lessen the “digital divide” among states and regions
   especially where market failure is evident or expected)

3. Improve framework conditions for multi-modal platforms (support of multi-modal platforms
   and the promotion of alternative transport means – e.g. rail and or sea compared to road –
   from the view of public interest).

The programme is confronted with a large number of issues and areas and limited funds. The
transnational co-operation programme cannot substitute the existing programmes and plans.
However, it can provide a platform for co-ordination and agreement among states, as well as a
podium for negotiations with international financing institutions, donors etc.

Potential project partners and stakeholders in the improvement of the accessibility are all
national, regional, local decision-makers and bodies in the field of transport, logistics, transport-
safety, ICT such as national, regional and local authorities; public transport associations; transport
operators; infrastructure operators; logistic centres; lo-gistics platforms; institutes for applied
research in trans-port and mobility, regional associations, regional innovation agencies; transport
alliances; SMEs; interest groups, as well as all population groups, which are affected by the
Priorities concerned.

The corresponding Areas of Intervention (AoI) are defined in detail in the following description.

AoI 3.1: Improve co-ordination in promoting, planning and operation for primary
and secondary transportation networks

Purpose

The purpose of the area of intervention is the provision of tools and space for co-ordinated
promoting, planning and operation for primary and secondary transportation networks.
Interventions can be either for regional and local bodies pushing their agenda in the central states
or for a number of South East European States towards the EU and other international institutions.

The programme cannot finance large infrastructure investments. However, a significant contribution
may be expected in mobilising stakeholders, conducting feasibility studies and action plans and co-
ordinating operations that are financed on other budgets.

Transnational action can support policy co-ordination among competent partners and transnational
networking of regionally anchored pilot projects.




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Regional interests and needs should be taken into consideration when planning high-ranked and
secondary transportation networks. This is to ensure that the regions are actually profiting from the
transportation networks.

The transnational co-operation should generate concrete projects, which will contribute to the
creation and strengthening of networks for the co-ordinated development of transport connections
and corridors and the elaboration of concrete action and financing plans for network development.
The projects should also offer room for environmental friendly transportation and joint management
of networks.

Eligible activities

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable. It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to
present an adequate activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the
proposed project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

–    National, regional and local authorities

–    Transport authorities, (Public) Transport operator, Infrastructure operator

–    Regional and local development agencies

–    Universities, higher education institutions, research centres, scientific institutions

–    Non-governmental organisations / public-like organisations

–    International organisations and bodies

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

    Promoting policy co-ordination among competent partners and elaborating co-ordinated
     strategies for infrastructure investments, promoting complementarities between various types
     of investments and mobilising various financial instruments

    Developing joint action plans for the realisation of physical infrastructure financed by other
     programmes

    Promoting transnational environmental assessment (EIA-SEA) and transnational territorial
     impact Assessments (TIA) in co-ordination with the realisation of physical infrastructure
     financed by other programmes

    Increasing the transparency of ongoing corridor related programmes and projects

    Elaborating PPP schemes for parts of the transportation infrastructure

    Establishing joint transportation networks management bodies




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   Creating transnational facilities for maintenance and road pricing of physical infrastructure

   Fostering transnational public participation in consultations over infrastructure network
    development

   Strengthening co-ordinated development of regional airports

   Creating intelligent traffic information systems for agglomerations

   Developing solutions for the flexible public transport tackling the mobility needs

   Analysing and maximising the effects of changed/improved accessibility on regional/location
    development opportunities

   Tackling specific problems of peripheral and sensible regions (e.g. traffic in mountainous
    regions)

   Improving access to international maritime and river ports to achieve future strategic advantage
    in global freight competition

   Joint promotional campaigns for maritime and river transport and raising awareness about its
    environmental and economic advantages.


Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching the Area of intervention

Transport                                  16      Railways
Transport                                  17      Railways (TEN-T)
Transport                                  19      Mobile rail assets (TEN-T)
Transport                                  20      Motorways
Transport                                  21      Motorways (TEN-T)
Transport                                  25      Urban transport
Transport                                  29      Airports
Transport                                  30      Ports
Transport                                  32      Inland waterways (TEN-T)



AoI 3.2: Develop strategies to tackle the “digital divide”

Purpose

The purpose of the area of intervention is the support of joint initiatives to lessen the “digital divide”
among states and regions especially where market failure is evident or expected. The “digital
divide” is the gap between those with regular, effective access to information and knowledge via
ICT (information and communication infrastructure) and those without.

The transnational co-operation should generate concrete projects which will contribute to the
development of concepts of public private partnerships for ICT accessibility, the development of
concepts and implementation of ICT solutions for local and regional authorities public services, the
collaboration of public authorities and scientific institutions in the development of public services,
the interoperability of information systems and the harmonisation of ICT training.




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Envisaged are also preparing activities for the development of regional ICT infrastructure and
service providers for alternatives to costly earthbound broadband connections on a transnational
basis. The programme is not designed to finance directly broadband infrastructure.

Eligible activities

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable. It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to
present an adequate activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the
proposed project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

–    National, regional and local authorities

–    Regional and local development agencies

–    Chambers of commerce, collective business support actors

–    Universities, higher education institutions, research centres, scientific institutions

–    Non-governmental organisations / public-like organisations

–    Voluntary sector organisations

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

    Raise awareness of ICT opportunities in regions where development of the information society
     is lagging behind

    Supporting SMEs especially in remote areas to develop their business activities through the
     application of ICT platforms to foster the economic and social development

    Developing public private partnerships for ICT accessibility

    Enhancing the role of regional and local administration in the implementation of the information
     society especially in remote areas

    Developing public services using e-government solutions and tools with the collaboration of
     public authorities and scientific institutions

    Establishing common standards in ICT development in relation to support services and training
     courses

    Promoting the interoperability of information systems e.g. in business support or education

    Developing databases of transnational interest

    Fostering the use of advanced ICT to reduce the need to travel and to replace physical mobility
     through virtual exchanges.




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Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching the Area of intervention

                                                  Information and communication technologies (access, security,
Information society                        11     interoperability, risk-prevention, research, innovation, e-content,
                                                  etc.)
Information society                        12     Information and communication technologies (TEN-ICT)
                                                  Services and applications for the citizen (e-health,            e-
Information society                        13
                                                  government, e-learning, e-inclusion, etc.)
                                                  Services and applications for SMEs (e-commerce, education
Information society                        14
                                                  and training, networking, etc.)
                                                  Other measures for improving access to and efficient use of
Information society                        15
                                                  ICT by SMEs



AoI 3.3: Improve framework conditions for multi-modal platforms

Purpose

The purpose of the area of intervention is the support of multi-modal platforms and the promotion of
alternative transport means (e.g. rail and or sea compared to road) from the view of public interest.
Multi-modal platforms can make existing transport more efficient and on the other hand stimulate
the shift to environmentally friendly systems. Activities should go beyond singular interests and
show a real co-operative character and mutual benefits.

The completion of the transportation networks, integration in the global market and rising
consumption patterns in the area place a heavy burden on the transportation network, which is
currently monopolised by road transport. Matters of operational efficiency, exploitation of the
available alternative routes and last but not least environmental concerns underline the need for
the promotion of multi-modal platforms. Transnational action is obviously an important issue due to
the economic interrelations and transport patterns between the regions and the impact of multi-
modality or lack thereof in large areas.

The transnational co-operation should generate concrete projects, which will contribute to the
development of multi-modal concepts and action plans, foster agreements for the promotion of
multi-modality and support the development of tools and systems for the facilitation of multi-modal
platforms.

Eligible activities

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable. It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to
present an adequate activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the
proposed project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

–    National, regional and local authorities

–    Regional and local development agencies




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–    Chambers of commerce, collective business support actors

–    Transport authorities, Infrastructure operators

–    Universities, higher education institutions, research centres, scientific institutions

–    Non-governmental organisations / public-like organisations

–    Voluntary sector organisations

–    International organisations and bodies

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

    Increasing the potential of inland waterway and maritime transport (short sea shipping and
     long-distance maritime transport) by concepts and action plans for the development of multi-
     modal terminals and hubs and improved hinterland connections

    Supporting platforms for communication and co-ordination between regional and city
     authorities and private service providers and investors and their collective associations

    Developing concepts and agreements on multi-modal connections especially among
     agglomerations

    Developing multi-modal transport solutions and action plans (mainly over waterways and sea)
     aimed at relieving or bypassing bottlenecks and missing links along transnational land transport

    Improving interoperability and intermodality of passenger and freight transport on land, inland
     waterways, sea and air, including harmonisation of all forms of public transport across national
     borders and on transnational East-West and North-South corridors

    Creating research and innovation networks focusing on multi-modal transport solutions
     including new equipment, technological developments, management of logistic chains etc.

    Developing transnational supply chain management structures including measures to improve
     the efficiency of multi-modal logistic chains (introduction of smart technologies, simplification of
     administration etc.)

    Developing ICT tools and structures for better connection with multi-modal platforms including
     optimisation of train capacities, road haulage pricing, one-stop shops for transport transactions

    Developing networks of logistic centres and encouraging the exchange of experience in the
     field of management, provision of services, co-operation within and outside the programme
     area

    Supporting joint planning efforts to harmonise transport and logistical investments as well as
     co-ordinated logistical capacities and services

    Developing solutions to improve logistics of renewable energies.




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Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching the Area of intervention

Transport                                27   Multimodal transport (TEN-T)


Transport                                28   Intelligent transport systems




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Priority Axis 4: Development of transnational synergies for sustainable
growth areas
Specific Objective of Priority Axis 4 is to develop and implement integrated strategies for
metropolitan areas and regional systems of settlements, work towards optimal polycentric
structures in the programme area and use cultural values for sustainable development. The Priority
Axis 4 shall contribute specifically to the future development of South East Europe as a place of
sustainable and polycentric development of metropolitan areas and regional settlement systems.

As the objective indicates, the priority of sustainable urban and regional settlement development
takes different forms of preventive measures AND development factors, showing a specific cross-
sectoral character strongly interlinking economic, environmental, social and governance issues.

This priority axis seeks in particular to achieve three operational objectives and will support
transnational partnerships and action that contribute to:

      Tackle crucial problems affecting metropolitan areas and regional systems of
       settlements (tackling the high concentration of economic, environmental, social and
                   11
       governance problems such as social segregation, growing poverty, lack of investments in
       certain areas, insufficient provision of public services, overburdening traffic capacities)

      Promote a balanced pattern of attractive and accessible growth areas (Further increase of
       co-ordinated strategic planning, co-ordinated marketing and lobbying, and functional division
       and complementarity to achieve competitiveness, (international) visibility and ensure a
       sufficient level of public services)

      Promote the use of cultural values for development (Further utilisation of the great cultural
       diversity as development factor and as an asset in global competition and to promote creativity,
       cultural identity and generate income and employment)

Transnational co-operation projects are tools to develop and in that sense apply integrated
strategies, sharing knowledge and best practices and implementing pilot projects. The
transnational level is the scale where more creative patterns and co-operation experiences
can interact.

Transnational co-operation projects shall complement the (small) URBACT programme, as an
instrument for exchange of experience and networking among cities.

Potential project partners and stakeholders in the development of transnational synergies for
sustainable growth areas are all national, regional, local decision-makers and bodies in the field of
urban and regional development, transport, housing, culture, tourism, such as local and regional
authorities, SMEs, planning and applied research institutions, development agencies, regional
innovation agencies, interest groups, public transport operators, housing cooperatives and housing
corporations, cultural initiative groups, institutions connected with health services sector,
transnational organisations in the field of culture, as well as all population groups which are
affected by the Areas of Intervention concerned.

The corresponding Areas of Intervention (AoI) are defined in detail in the following description.


11
     The planning, influencing and conducting of the policy and affairs of an organisation




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AoI 4.1: Tackle crucial problems affecting metropolitan areas and regional systems
of settlements

Purpose

The purpose of this area of intervention is the development, implementation and dissemination of
concrete strategies and action plans and the utilisation of transnational skills and knowledge to
tackle crucial problems affecting metropolitan areas and regional systems of settlements.

Crucial problems could be of interrelated economic, environmental, social and governance
nature. Multilevel activities within transnational partnerships should seek to improve these kind of
crucial problems.

Joint expertise and pilot co-operation projects could be developed in a wide spectrum of issues
of common interest. Transnational co-operation should combine the exchange of experience with
appropriate pilot projects in urban and settlement areas to apply strategies, skills and knowledge.
The co-operation programme supports joint action serving as a booster for national or regional
strategies. Co-operation partners, who work on similar or complementary problems, can use a
transnational partnership within the co-operation area as boosters for local action. Co-operation
partners can use a transnational partnership also in terms of „agenda setting“, in order to receive
external support for innovative ideas and approaches. Co-operation partners could pool their
resources to implement trainings and pilot action. Partnership projects implemented at local and
regional level can achieve a pronounced visibility for citizens.

In contrary to interregional co-operation – which deals in principle with similar issues – territorial co-
operation aims at developing durable partnerships in the defined co-operation area. Only a
territorial co-operation programme can carry that out. The intensification of interregional exchange
may contribute to more cohesive and balanced territorial development of the South East Europe
area.

Eligible activities

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable. It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to
present an adequate activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the
proposed project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

–   National, regional and local authorities

–   Regional and local development agencies

–   Chambers of commerce, collective business support actors

–   Universities, higher education institutions, research centres, scientific institutions

–   Non-governmental organisations / public-like organisations




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–     Voluntary sector organisations

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

Developing transnational synergies in the field of Public Infrastructure and Public services,
e.g.:

     Developing common pilot co-operation projects to improve the urban infrastructure (e.g. waste
      water treatment, drinking water improvement, energy efficiency refurbishment) and to improve
      useful inter-connections

     Developing new ways for public infrastructure financing

     Improving public procurement for urban infrastructure according to EU standards

     Improving management and monitoring systems for green areas

     Developing effective ways for housing restructuring and improvement of residential areas

     Tackling the needs of settlement areas that are suffering from economic and population decline

Developing transnational synergies in Planning and Governance, e.g.:

     Developing integrative tools such as city development strategies in order to cover poverty,
      economic development, the environment (e.g. Environmental Urban Management Plans), city
      management, sustainable tourism development and finance

     Development and action plans for co-operative solutions for urban renewal and revitalisation

     Developing plans for the restructuring of former military camps

     Developing GIS-networks (geographic information systems) to tackle specific needs (e.g. soil
      pollution monitoring)

     Tackling land registration as a serious problem especially concerning urban areas

     Enhancing the management, registration and regulation of real estates along with the
      development and rehabilitation of urban brownfields

     Promoting governance and development of accountability and transparency in local authorities
      could also be addressed. The key partners – the private sector, the community and NGOs, as
      well as local, regional and national government – should be mobilised in the planning,
      implementation and evaluation of urban development (e.g. city-district/quarter-management)
                                                                         12
Developing transnational synergies in social issues                           (in the context of Integrated projects
for urban and regional regeneration), e.g.:

     Developing pathways to integration for disadvantaged people, migrants and groups with
      specific needs


12
     Special care should be taken for project activities related to social problems (e.g. migration, integration of disadvantaged
     people etc.) and ESF Operational Programmes in order to exploit potential complementarities.




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Developing transnational synergies in economic issues (in the context of integrated
projects for urban and regional regeneration), e.g.:

   Developing measures to stimulate business opportunities, innovation and entrepreneurship in
    crisis areas

   Developing technological and management standards for economic infrastructures (such as
    SME business incubators) serving to improve areas with a lack of investments.


Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching the Area of intervention

Urban and rural regeneration                       61   Integrated projects for urban and rural regeneration

Improving      access   to     employment    and        Specific action to increase migrants‟ participation           in
                                                   70
sustainability                                          employment and thereby strengthen their social integration
                                                        Pathways to integration and re-entry into employment for
Improving the social inclusion of less-favoured         disadvantaged people; combating discrimination in accessing
                                                71
persons                                                 and progressing in the labour market and promoting
                                                        acceptance of diversity at the workplace

                                                        Mechanisms for improving good policy and programme design,
Strengthening institutional capacity at national,
                                                  81    monitoring and evaluation at national, regional and local level,
regional and local level
                                                        capacity building in the delivery of policies and programmes.




AoI 4.2: Promote a balanced pattern of attractive and accessible growth areas

Purpose

The purpose of this area of intervention is to elaborating integrated spatial and development
strategies for strengthening functional regions as carriers of growth and competitiveness and
providing partners with tools for the formulation of their role and for the formation of new
partnerships within those areas.

Transnational action can contribute to overcome the dilemma between a high-ranking goal:
promoting viable polycentrism and the restricted availability of common awareness, joint strategies
and pooled resources to achieve that demanding goal. Transnational action can serve as the
framework and protecting shell for the development of the partnership for local/regional
activities in advanced and experimental development strategies to develop viable polycentrism
and consequently strengthen territorial cohesion in South East Europe against the emerging
divides.

Against the background it is considered to be crucial to promote a balanced distribution of
competitive growth areas in the co-operation area in combination with strong internal and external
functional relations.

This intervention is addressing multifaceted issues. They can be clustered as:

Joint action to formulate and manage “functional polycentricity”

Purpose is the development, implementation and dissemination of concrete strategies and action
plans and the utilisation of transnational skills and knowledge in order to contribute to the
optimisation of the existing extensive polycentric structure in the sense of “functional polycentricity”




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linking smaller centres to attractive growth areas, capitalizing on their potential complementarities
and so achieving competitiveness and ensuring a sufficient level of public services.

In the existing polycentric structure all the elements needed for the development of growth areas
with “critical mass” are present. The challenge of formulating and implementing a strategy for
functional co-operation means to capitalise on potential complementarities and overbearing of
geographic distances between different-sized cities through enhanced co-operation links. This
should be based on the analysis of the different functions and specialisations and the definition of
“Who will specialise in what?” Functional potentials should complement each other. Allocation of
public money to the “wrong spots” should be avoided. This will require the making of strategic
choices in identifying and strengthening “growth areas” and putting in place the networks that
link them in both physical (infrastructure) and human terms (building up capacities, skill,
knowledge). The map of South East Europe should show several inter-connected zones of major
growth, each carving its own niche in the European (and global) space economies. However,
functional polycentricity implies the creation of “regional compensation mechanisms” and the
renouncement of “militant” competition.

Joint action to support governance as a new partnership of functional areas

Purpose is the development of structures and capacities for the development of consistent
policies, plans and pilot projects for all the different factors promoting sustainable growth and jobs
in functional areas.

Public bodies are increasingly aware of the question: What is happening outside the traditional
administrative borders (jurisdictional boundaries), but within the functional linkages. Governance
can be seen as the participatory process to engage relevant stakeholders for the identification and
development of functional areas. Co-operation is an option for retaining control of development
processes and regaining power in development planning. In fact there is a large number of practi-
cal constraints for effective institutionalised or informal co-operation to be tackled such as indistinct
legal framework for co-operation, low degree of co-operation between economic development
agencies and regional development agencies; not fully developed mechanism of inter-communal
financial compensations and contracting mechanisms and lack of common Land Use management.
The governance aspect could be an additional asset for rural and suburban communities, which
usually lack the possibility to express and defend their interests towards metropolitan zones.

Urban-rural relations should receive attention, like services of general interest for rapidly shrinking
and ageing rural areas.

Eligible activities

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable. It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to
present an adequate activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the
proposed project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

–    National, regional and local authorities




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–   Regional and local development agencies

–   Chambers of commerce, collective business support actors

–   Universities, research centres, scientific institutions

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

   Developing Joint Action Plans for functional regions, e.g. in combination with extensive and
    participative planning processes, for better co-ordination between municipal authorities (both
    central and suburban) and rural and regional authorities, which are encouraged to pool their
    resources. “Hard core issues” of regional development (like transport and business location
    development) should be complemented by quality of life interventions such as in the field of
    culture, tourism and leisure. Attention should be paid to the knowledge based economy and
    qualification issues

   Strengthening co-operative marketing activities to support economic and regional development,
    attracting investments in a transnational network of regions

   Integrated business location concept for functional economic regions: Presenting and co-
    ordinating disperse business location offers that cover a functional region of small communes,
    development of business zones located at the best suitable and accessible locations

   Developing better administrative procedures for business location development.

    Optimise and standardise public decision making procedures within an economic calculable
    time frame; Transparency of the obligations and conditions for private investors (e.g. binding
    handbook of the administration addressing investors explaining clearly defined, reliable
    requirements for development); Define “key area programmes” as a basis for the
    implementation of project management methods; Introduce “action planning” which means the
    elaboration of “regional business plans”

   Creating public funds or other relevant tools for interventions in the land market and as an
    instrument of public land policy, to “protect” areas for the intended use

   Intensifying the involvement of private money in the implementation process of urban and
    regional development projects by using appropriate forms of PPP, development of bodies for
    the management of renewal funds and development of resource centres

   Developing networks and other forms of co-operation between public bodies to save
    investment costs (e.g. inter-communal industrial parks)

   Promoting public participation and empowerment, establishment of ombudsmen and facilitators
    of polycentricity, development of decentralisation capacities (financial, managerial, political),
    establishment of “suburbs management” as urban-rural interfaces

   Creating networks of regional development agencies promoting integrated approaches for
    improving the partners capabilities

   Taking full advantage of modern information and communications technologies to support good
    urban governance and sustainable urban development




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    Developing co-operation focused not only on economic and infrastructure issues but on all
     urban functions, such as culture, education, knowledge and social infrastructure


Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching the Area of intervention

Urban and rural regeneration                     61    Integrated projects for urban and rural regeneration

                                                       Mechanisms for improving good policy and programme design,
Strengthening institutional capacity at national,
                                                  81   monitoring and evaluation at national, regional and local level,
regional and local level
                                                       capacity building in the delivery of policies and programmes.


                                                       Services and applications for the citizen (e-health, e-
Information society                              13
                                                       government, e-learning, e-inclusion, etc.)




AoI 4.3: Promote the use of cultural values for development

Purpose

The purpose of this area of intervention is the inclusion of cultural values as an integral part of the
programme area in the planning and development processes of urban centres, systems of
settlements and surrounding rural areas.

The programme area is rich in cultural values (from prehistoric times and beyond to the ancient
Greek civilization, Hellenistic times, the Roman and Byzantine Empires, the Ottoman Empire,
Habsburg Monarchy, Communist period) and tourism potentials. Urban development cannot take
place in a “cultural vacuum” but should respect the cultural landscapes in which it is embedded.
Hence the mobilisation of cultural values in the urban development context presents an
opportunity for promoting local identities, bridging urban centres and rural periphery and making
South East European cities an attractive place to live and work.

Transnational action should support joint conservation and the utilisation of cultural values as a
development factor and resource of sustainable tourisms.

Projects should make sure that the action undertaken contributes to developing the endogenous
potential and generates directly or indirectly income and jobs.

Eligible activities

Projects could include activities such as networking and exchange of information activities (not
stand alone, purely networking activities will NOT be supported), studies and operational plans,
capacity building activities, promotion actions, set-up of services, preparation and conduction of
investments proposed by transnational strategic concepts, including infrastructure investment if
appropriate and justifiable. It is the task of each project applicant and each proposed intervention to
present an adequate activity mix, which will produce visible outputs, assure the fulfilment of the
proposed project objectives and contribute to the Programmes Objectives.

Target groups and/ or indicative potential beneficiaries

–    National, regional and local authorities




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–   Regional and local development agencies

–   Chambers of commerce, collective business support actors, tourist associations

–   Universities, higher education institutions, research centres, scientific institutions

–   Non-governmental organisations / public-like organisations (e.g. Cultural initiative group)

Examples of (multilevel) activities within transnational partnerships that can be supported
under this area of intervention:

   Improving good policy, programme design and capacity building with respect to joint
    conservation and the utilisation of cultural values

   Enhancing joint promotion of historic places, joint labelling and communication strategies,
    development of transnational city marketing concepts for historical centres

   Transnational pooling of specific expertise, e.g. for better management of archaeological sites

   Coordinated approaches in cultural heritage conservation in combination with common
    professional training (Data base creation, mapping and monitoring the sites of cultural interest,
    restoring techniques, also utilizing ICT tools)

   Promoting cultural tourism, e.g. through the developing of cultural routes

   Supporting education both in the field of traditional materials and cultural resources
    management

   Developing public private civil society partnerships for the restoration of prominent sites

   Improving the perception of heritage with the help of new media tools.


Categories (codes for the priority theme dimension) according Annex II Implementation
Regulation No 1828/2006, matching the Area of intervention

Culture                                          58    Protection and preservation of the cultural heritage
Culture                                          59    Development of cultural infrastructure
Culture                                          60    Other assistance to improve cultural services

                                                       Mechanisms for improving good policy and programme design,
Strengthening institutional capacity at national,
                                                  81   monitoring and evaluation at national, regional and local level,
regional and local level
                                                       capacity building in the delivery of policies and programmes.




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Annex 2: Common indicator set for monitoring and
evaluation

To be further developed.




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                                         Programme Manual South East Europe




Annex 3: SEE Contact Points




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